Suzhou is an elegant place where there is a unique local drama---Pingtan, which is also called storytelling, the good name. The singer is called “storyteller”; the performance place is called “Shuchang (public gathering place where professional entertainers perform storytelling, cross talk, etc)”, and the audience is called “book listener”. Like Kunqu, Pingtan rises and falls, but it is an everlasting exquisite works of art with 200 years of history, mainly for its closeness to common people and their lives.. Pingtan, originated from and flourished in Suzhou, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai, is sung in Suzhou dialect and talks about people’s life which is familiar to the public. The actor woks as a singer, so the performance is vivid and pleasant. Enjoying Pingtan has been a good way of amusement, and then tea shop and Shuchang (public gathering place where professional entertainers perform storytelling, cross talk, etc) turn into twins: the place would be the tea shop in the morning and the Shuchang (public gathering place where professional entertainers perform storytelling, cross talk, etc) in the afternoon. Suzhou People is fond of Pingtan just as Shaoxin people is fond of Yellow wine and Shanghai people is fond of Yamalu (couples or lovers stroll along a street, ect.). Nowadays, Pingtan is not as popular as pop songs, but keeping its own characteristics, there are still lots of fans in Suzhou. You can go and experience the real life of the local people.
Places to enjoy Pingtan: Meilin Book Garden, Pingfan Teahouse, Guanyu Shuchang