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Ladyboy revue gets upscale venue

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Construction still under way at the Rosana Broadway ladyboy cabaret theatre. Photograph: Peter Olszewki/Phnom Penh Post

Construction is almost finished on a lavish new theatre being built on National Road Six, just past Phsar Leu, which will house an extravagant Bangkok-Pattaya-style ladyboy cabaret.

For the past month a troupe of about 70 ladyboys has been rehearsing intricate dance moves for the show in the ultra-modern, well-fitted-out theatre, in readiness for the opening next month. Shows will be scheduled daily, and the theatre will become a big employer for the ladyboy community.

Insider attended a rehearsal last Thursday, with a choreographer working with the troupe, fine tuning the moves for the show which will be called Rosana Broadway. Seating is western-style plush with cup holders built into the arm-rests of seats, and the theatre is equipped with air-conditioning and state-of-the art sound systems.

About seventy dancers were doing their thing at the rehearsals, but Vibol Anon Panhabot, the assistant sales and marketing manager, explained that the number of dancers in the opening show may vary from the rehearsal and may be more or slightly less.

No expense seems to have been spared in the construction of the theatre to permanently house the lady boy revue extravaganza.

The theatre is owned by Siem Reap Group Co Ltd, and general manager Atth Saengchai told Insider that the project, five years in the planning and organisation, is backed by a consortium of investors.

Opening night has been slated for September 1. But Atth Saengchai said that quality and class is his prime consideration, and he will delay the opening if necessary, if construction of the theatre isn’t fully completed or if, in his assessment, the entertainment is not quite right and requires more rehearsal.

He also said that the show itself varies, according to the nationality of the group in attendance in the nights. The show that a predominantly Cambodia audience will see will vary to the show that’s staged for a Chinese or Vietnamese audience.

He also stressed the show itself will be wholesome in nature, pointing out that concerned Siem Reap authorities had to be assured that there’d be no nudity or lewdness in the show before authorisations to go ahead were granted.

The show is very much modeled on the lavish revue-style shows that have achieved fame in Bangkok and are billed as family entertainment.

For example, Bangkok.com describes the ladyboy show performers as, “Fascinating and highly artistic performers,” who captivate audiences with, “Their charm, unique creativity and flawless female impersonations. A ladyboy show promises an evening of polished and most enjoyable entertainment for the whole family.”

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