Bright lights, glitz and glamour. Rosana Broadway certainly doesn’t come close to under-delivering if you measured its success and entertainment value by the number of sequins on show.
A high-octane cabaret spectacle, this well-rehearsed performance is a deluge of colour and theatrics, with a 16-piece set and countless dancers all strutting their stuff with some swag.
The routines are all set to Western and Asian classics – if we can be liberal with the use of word classic, and stretch it to cover Gangnam Style. They’re trying to appeal to as many people as possible given the broad international tourist market in Siem Reap. That said, and though all the barangs (Western foreigners) we know have loved it, the concept through to their marketing is more geared towards an Asian audience.
The performances are entertaining and the cast seemed to be putting more effort into what they were doing than your average budget Apsara dance show. A round of applause was well-earned by the character that played a man and woman simultaneously, a costume of half dress and make-up, half tailored suit. It was simple but comical, as he/she kept flipping sides between the theatre’s curtains, singing a duet with himself.
It was, however, a quiet round of applause since the night we went the audience was thin; asides from our group there was only one other couple. We weren’t complaining though, with the pick of the plush 900 cinema-style seats in the large theatre. It also meant the odds were stacked in our favour for the few moments of audience participation.
If you’ve yet to experience the extravaganza of a fusion between traditional cultural performance and an all-singing (sorry, miming), all-dancing ladyboy cabaret show in Thailand, then we think you’ll enjoy this one. It’s suitable for all the family – it’s not raunchy – for a fun night out. While it may not be perfectly executed, we’ve seen a worse polish on shows in the West End. We would go again and laughed hard – albeit not necessarily the way that the producers may have intended. Don’t forget to pick up your jaw on the way out.
Rosana Broadway is a 15-20 minute drive out of town down National Road 6 towards Phnom Penh. It’s on your left, a few minutes after passing Psar Leu market. Like the show, the sign is not understated so you shouldn’t have a problem over-shooting. Given it’s somewhat on its own as a tourist place of interest, arrange for your driver to also be there to take you back to town.
There are two shows a night, at 19:15 and 21:00, seven days a week, lasting a little over an hour without any interval. It’s best to book ahead, as on quiet nights they may not run both shows. Tickets are expensive at $25 upwards per person, but it might be worth emailing in low season for any discounts, especially for groups. Have a small bill ready if you’d like a photo with the performers in the lobby at the end of the night.
How to get there
Rosana Broadway is a 15-20 minute drive out of town down National Road 6 towards Phnom Penh. It’s on your left, a few minutes after passing Psar Leu market. Like the show, the sign is not understated so you shouldn't have a problem over-shooting. Given it’s somewhat on its own as a tourist place of interest, arrange for your driver to also be there to take you back to town.
By Caroline Major
Last updated on 28th June, 2014.