(Clearwisdom.net) New Tang Dynasty Television's (NTDTV) Chinese New Year Spectacular kicked off its world tour on the evening of January 4, 2008 at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia. Newspapers in the Greater Philadelphia area provided wide coverage of the event. The largest newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer filed a report in its weekend issue on January 4 saying, "An early welcome to the Year of the Rat will be onstage at the Merriam. It's a 'Chinese New Year Spectacular.'"

The report stated, "the Merriam Theater will host a huge celebration of Chinese culture this weekend with five performances featuring traditional dances, songs and symphony at the New Tang Dynasty TV's (NTDTV) Chinese New Year Spectacular."

"Presented in partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Asian Culture Center, NTDTV's Chinese New Year Spectacular will celebrate 5,000 years of Chinese history and traditions. More than 100 costumed dancers and singers representing traditional Chinese myths and legends will be on stage to ring in the Year of the Rat, which begins Feb.7 and is based on the first sign of the Chinese zodiac.

"Performances by world-class artists will include those by tenor Guimin Guan, who has been described as the Pavarotti of China, and erhuist Xiaochun Qi, known for playing the traditional Chinese string instrument to symphony audiences in Geneva, Switzerland, Boston, New York, Toronto, and Houston.

"Conductor Rutang Chen, a cellist for China's Central Philharmonic Society Orchestra for more than three decades before moving to the United States, also will perform in this popular tour, which has two troupes staging more than 150 performances in more than 50 cities around the world."

NTDTV's 'Chinese New Year Spectacular,' will be on stage at 8p.m. on Jan. 4, 2 and 8 p.m. January 5, Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Jan. 6, Sunday at the Merriam Theater. Tickets are $ 38-$108. Information: 856-437-4826 or www. bestchineseshows.com.