tonight we (me, andrew, anup, eugina, and two of anups friends visiting from the states) went to the lao she teahouse.
the executive summary? it's kind of a tourist destination teahouse that has live performances. there were too many cat drowning (read singing) acts and a few really good acts. imho the last two were the best. a man juggling and balancing heavy pots on his head and a performance called "the changing faces of schesuan" which involved a man dancing around in tights, a cape, and wearing a mask. then he would flick his head (or hand) and reveal a new mask. visually pretty cool.
when we entered the teahouse we were first met by the specter of a life sized representation of ghengis khan sr (ie george bush sr.) after we recovered from our shock we noticed that the walls were covered with pictures of ministers, diplomats, and other "important people" from around the world.
admission cost 110 yuen (about 14USD) and included tea and snacks. a few of us were also starving so luckily they had a full menu and we were able to order shipin (food) and pijiu (beer).
the show started with some storytelling by a woman who was smiling like she hadn't quite recovered from a horrible accident during her most recent face lift operation. this was followed by dancing combined with mime like fighting to act out the story she had just told.
after this there were a few more good acts that were interspersed with the cat drownings. there was a decent magician who had the ability to pull live fish out of strange places. the most interesting musical act was one with four musicians and five instruments. it was interesting because all the musicians had their arms crossed and were each playing one half of two different instruments. the played two songs and for the second song they were also singing along with their playing... pretty cool.
the last two acts i mentioned earlier were the best. eugina had told us about in advance about the mask changing act and we were eagerly anticipating it. it didn't disappoint.