The Chinese Clown Cabaret

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About the Show



The Chinese Clown Cabaret is the beautiful brainchild of mother-daughter team Jane and Tair Chen. A collection of eclectic musical acts woven through a semi-autobiographical narrative, the duo creates a world of goofiness, spontaneity, and emotional depth, as they explore what a relationship between mother and daughter could really be about. Combining opera, Chinese folk songs, catchy pop tunes, and Jane's signature quirky ditties, the Chinese Clown Cabaret sings, dances, and clowns its way through the roller-coaster ride of adolescent clown life and growing up caught between two cultures. The Chinese Clown Cabaret is, according to Audience Reviews, “one of those rare shows that helps you feel how neat it is just to be alive.”

A show about two generations trying to find a common bond, the Chinese Clown Cabaret is inspired by the real-life relationship that co-creators Jane and Tair share. Jane, born and raised in the United States, graduated from Yale University with a degree in Theater Studies and went on to learn the fine art of clowning from teachers such as Ronlin Foreman of the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre (California, USA) and Sue Morrison (Toronto ON, Canada). Tair, born and raised in Taiwan, immigrated to the United States to pursue computer engineering, and got into the clown act purely by accident. “I was visiting Jane in California. She had a rehearsal and needed a stagehand to help her. I kept messing up. We were yelling at each other, saying, ‘No! Mom, not yet!’ and 'Jane, go! Go right now!' And her director was just sitting there, watching, and finally she said, ‘That’s funny.’” And the mother-daughter clown cabaret act was born.

The show premiered in 2004 at the Dell'Arte Mad River Festival Edgefest. Since then, the show has played at Fringe Festivals across North America, the Asian Art Museum, the APAture Festival (Featured Artist 2003, Retrospective Show 2004, Best of APAture 2007), Marsh Theater, Women On the Way Festival, as well as schools, baby showers, birthday parties, and private functions across the country. The Chinese Clown Cabaret is the winner of four Best of Fringe Awards: Best Overall Production (Ottawa Fringe 2006), Best Concept (Ottawa Fringe 2006), Best Box Office (San Francisco Fringe 2005), and Best Clown Show (San Francisco Fringe 2004).

The Chinese Clown Cabaret is currently available for bookings. For more information, please contact {}.


"I was so profoundly moved by your show…At fifty-two years of age I am still longing to find expression of stifled dreams and your show has rekindled that deep sad sweet yearning to touch into who I truly am and to share that."

     - Audience Review, Victoria Fringe Festival 2006




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