The Theater: Hsi Chu

Chinese drama (hsi chü), like 100-year-old eggs, has few enthusiasts in the U.S. Westerners have difficulty staying awake through its mute, complex formality and its endless haggling with a ritual whose whole meaning may depend on the number of folds in an actor's sleeve. But last week a Chinese company of 14 did pretty well on Broadway.

Two months ago the Chinese Cultural Theater Group of Shanghai began a goodwill tour of the U.S. (they have already played San Francisco and Chicago, will next swing through the South) on a financial shoestring. The company...

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