Meet the Magnificent Grant-oh! Buchwald – That’s Shanghai

Meet the Magnificent Grant-oh! Buchwald

We love Grant-oh! Buchwald. Everybody loves Pappa-G. He is one of many good guys. A Shanghai mensch.

For these not within the know, he’s the magical pink beard behind The Pearl, a transformed Buddhist temple in Shanghai that now serves as a theater, burlesque and dwell music area, and a must-visit for all guests to the town.

So, with journey now again on the agenda, we’d thought it was excessive time we launched him, and The Pearl, to a China-wide viewers. You possibly can thank us later.

How did you first come concerned in The Pearl?
I used to be one of many dumb misguided traders waaaaay again in 2008 that renovated the area and opened as Chinatown. It was an terrible identify for a membership in Shanghai, however they’d been a profitable burlesque present troupe that had been performing in NYC and Vegas, earlier than coming right here and sucking me into their world.

Chinatown was superb on the time – and created fairly a stir – however solely lasted a few years, and I walked away from the funding as I may see it sinking quick. 

Then, in 2013, Chinatown headliner, Frank Bray, and well-known Bourbon importer, Glenn Thain, approached me with reopening as The Pearl.

I used to be nonetheless licking my wounds from shedding all my funding at Chinatown, however fortunately I used to be working full time with Ferrari as their Asian photographer, so I had cash to burn and I’m a complete sucker for the area.

The venue is pure magic and there may be nowhere else prefer it. Whenever you come go to, ask for me and I’m glad to provide you a tour and let you know the historical past of the constructing courting again to 1931.


How has the final 12 months been? (Sorry, however now we have to ask…)
As you may think about, 2022 has been really horrible for The Pearl and each F&B proprietor and small enterprise in Shanghai. It’s a miracle that now we have survived, together with our employees and our crew of 17 in-house performers.

However I’m proud to say The Pearl is really a household and we’ve helped one another as greatest we will to get by means of this in a single piece. I like all of them and respect their energy and their ardour to maintain our dream alive… and Shanghai is such an incredible vibrant metropolis, she is going to rebound quick and shortly we’ll all be rocking once more!

About these exhibits – that are your hottest?
By far our dwell music tribute exhibits like Queen, ABBA, Adele, Taylor Swift, Linkin Park – and that’s as a result of our Crimson Stars band is like no different I’ve ever labored with. They’re really extremely gifted and the toughest working musicians I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.

I’m glad to say our new dinner present idea has actually been profitable as properly. Our Moulin Specatulaire and now our Biggest Present manufacturing are superb. We’ve offered out each present and been receiving rave opinions.

Now we have different exhibits within the works however they clearly preserve getting delayed… as a result of, properly, you recognize…



So which is your private favourite?
This has turn out to be not possible for me to say as a result of our crew simply retains elevating the bar. I used to be in precise tears when the Crimson Stars did Led Zeppelin a pair years in the past, however that now looks like nothing in comparison with their Pink Floyd present final 12 months, with eight musicians on stage and full graphics on the partitions.

We even had our loopy guitarist, Alex, doing an aerial guitar solo throughout ‘Studying to Fly.’ It was superb!

On the opposite facet of issues, I simply love our drag exhibits. The outrageous creativity is ‘Fabulous’! No two exhibits are ever the identical.

I feel for this reason I really love this time in my life doing this. To work with so many nice skills and doing one thing distinctive each evening is simply pure magic and retains desirous to struggle to outlive!

What evokes you and the crew in the case of developing with the exhibits?
Admittedly, this has been a battle over time. Been many heated discussions with largely good concepts, and some flops. Although over the previous couple years, the crew and I’ve actually come collectively.

We regularly collect at Zeitgeist each month or two and focus on concepts. I ask everybody to deliver up all concepts they’ve. The great, the unhealthy, the outrageously insane. Every little thing.

Nothing ever will get determined as these conferences all the time find yourself with us laughing and ingesting till shut, however all these concepts go right into a artistic pot that stews till the second is correct. Most concepts want a while to develop.

When time is correct, they appear to come back collectively and it’s great. To be sincere, the crew has gotten so good, I don’t must be as hands-on as I used to be earlier than. We’ve constructed up a mutual respect and belief amongst all our groups to create nice experiences.

I simply have to step in and reign within the budgets, occasionally. Hah!



Any new exhibits lined up?
All the time! Now we have a Metallica Tribute developing in January. And I’m engaged on a bunch of recent Tribute exhibits I don’t wish to point out but.

On the Cabaret facet, the crew is in rehearsals, once more and but once more (due to you recognize what…) for Cococsanti’s interpretation of 六, the musical (undecided I ought to write the English for copyright causes. Hah!)

Additionally, we’ll be engaged on a brand new authentic musical all about Taylor Swift. Additionally, it’s not formally introduced, however we actually hope we will do our authentic totally immersive Pirates present that was to occur a 12 months in the past, earlier than, properly, you recognize…

The Pirates immersive present is a large manufacturing and actually hope we will do it earlier than summer season.

So can we, Grant-oh! – you previous sea canine! So, in a single sentence (or 4) – why ought to folks head to The Pearl?
Now, greater than ever, we have to escape actuality, overlook concerning the exterior world and have enjoyable and be entertained.

Personally talking, I’ve but to search out any venue that may entertain higher than we will at The Pearl! Come early for dinner, get pleasure from a present and go residence feeling impressed.

That’s why I’m the proudest Pearl Papa-G that there ever was!

In Shanghai for CNY? Take a look at these exhibits…

Queen Tribute Live performance


Freddie has been introduced again to life! Doubtless among the finest nights of leisure this metropolis has to supply, and your probability to sing together with all of Queen’s largest hits. This present is all the time packed, so remember to purchase your tickets earlier than they promote out!

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Fri Jan 20, 6pm doorways, 8.30pm pre-show, 9.30pm present; RMB180 presale, RMB220 on the door.

Inexperienced Day Publish Punk


The Pearl’s Crimson Stars home band carry out all Inexperienced Day’s biggest hits, in addition to one of the best from Offspring, Blink-182, Sum 41, Crimson Sizzling Chili Peppers and extra!

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Sat Jan 21, 6pm doorways, 8.30pm present; RMB150 presale, RMB180 on the door.

Women Rock: Woman Gaga Taylor Swift & Pink


A evening of Women Rock with Woman Gaga, Taylor Swift and Pink, with doorways at 9pm and the present beginning at 9.30pm.

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Solar Jan 22, 6pm doorways, 9pm present; RMB180 presale, RMB220 door.

East Meets West Drag Present @ The Pearl


Western hits collide on the Pearl stage! Shanghai’s drag queens curate one of the best of each worlds for a one-of-a-kind cross-cultural efficiency. Chinese language New 12 months, irrespective of whether or not you’re keen on C-Pop hits or western prime 40, you’ll discover every part at East Meets West! 

Between acts The Pearl DJ will probably be grooving so be able to spend the evening dancing!

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Tue Jan 24, 6pm doorways, 9pm present; RMB150 presale, RMB180 on the door.

Britney Spears vs Madonna


The Queens of Pop do battle as Britney Spears takes on Madonna. There can even be dancers and drag. As a result of, you recognize, Britney Spears and Madonna…

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Wed Jan 25, 6pm doorways, 9pm present; RMB180 presale, RMB220 on the door.

RedBox Broadway


One for all you present tune followers – RedBox Broadway Cabaret dinner theater at The Pearl each Thursday evening, an immersive Cabaret-Broadway-Film Present Tune Evening, with the precise stars from Chinese language Broadway exhibits!

Take pleasure in a number of hits, from classics like Phantom of the OperaChicago and Singing within the Rain, proper as much as trendy tunes from HamiltonLala Land and The Biggest Showman, all carried out dwell and complimented by skilled costumes, lighting, course and choreography to make sure an unforgettable expertise.

READ MORE: RedBox Broadway Cabaret Dinner Theater at The Pearl!

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Thu 19 & 26, 6pm doorways, 7.30-9pm present; RMB200 presale, RMB250 on the door.

Think about Dragons vs C***p***


An imaginary battle of the bands at The Pearl sees American pop rockers Think about Dragons tackle post-Britpop various rockers C***p***.

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Thu Jan 26, 9pm doorways, 9.30pm present; RMB150 presale, RMB180 on the door.

F#$Ok 2020 The Live performance


The Pearl first did this present January 1, 2022 to overlook the dread of 2021 and it was an enormous success. An evening of nice music, mates and rocking celebration. A lot in order that they introduced it again this 12 months!

It’s referred to as ‘Hair of the Canine’ and The Pearl is your tonic. To get over the past 12 months, we prescribe the F#$Ok 2022 Live performance. On the menu is all types of rock and rock, with The Pearl’s Crimson Stars band taking you on a journey by means of music’s biggest hits as we rejoice the beginning of 2023.

Anticipate a tasty witches brew of basic rock, punk rock and 90s rock. No rock will probably be left unturned! Hits from bands reminiscent of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix will probably be paired with the Ramones and the Offspring, then topped with some Nirvana and Linkin Park for good measure, making this one nasty cauldron of Hair of the Canine, able to be delivered to your ears.

To start out the brand new 12 months off proper, come on all the way down to the Pearl!

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Fri Jan 27, 6pm doorways, 9pm present; RMB150 presale, RMB180 on the door.

The British Invasion @ The Pearl


Have a good time all issues British with the music from The Beatles, Eurythmics, Queen, Def Leppard, Oasis, Led Zeppelin, Sure, Pink Floyd, Elton John and extra.

Scan the QR to get your tickets now:


Sat Jan 28, 6pm doorways, 9pm present; RMB150 presale, RMB180 on the door.

The Pearl, 471 Zhapu Lu, by Wujin Lu 乍浦路471号, 近武进路.

[All images courtesy of Grant-oh! Buchwald]