“Khmer Metal” Shows Wildside of Cambodia’s Urban Youth

Sep. 16, 2015 / By Michelle Siebert

Sex. Drugs. Cambodia.

“Khmer Metal” explores these themes in a circus show mixing theater, acrobatics, and rock music, reflecting the stories of urban youth in modern Cambodia.

The show is coming to the United States for the first time, and what better place to premiere than in Long Beach? The Carpenter Performing Arts Center at California State University, Long Beach will feature the show Sunday, September 20th for the local Cambodian diaspora and other audiences to enjoy.

A story about drama and humor, “Khmer Metal” takes place in a fictional Phnom Penh rock bar, where the characters confront temptation and explicit scenarios based on true events.

The show is put together by Phare, The Cambodian Circus, an arts group from the Siem Reap province in Cambodia, known to infuse theatrical performances with Cambodian history and real life stories.

The actual cast features young Cambodians from disadvantaged backgrounds. Some are orphans. Others are victims of trafficking. Phare provides an opportunity for the young Cambodian artists to transform their lives.

“Khmer Metal” has already toured Europe, Asia, and had daily performances in Siem Reap.

On Monday, local community leaders welcomed guests of Phare at a meet-and-greet at Sophy’s Restaurant in east Long Beach to celebrate “Khmer Metal’s” U.S. tour.

Community leaders welcomed Phare, The Cambodian Circus, Monday at a meet-and-greet in east Long Beach.

Community leaders welcomed Phare, The Cambodian Circus, Monday at a meet-and-greet in east Long Beach.

Huot Dara, Chief Executive of Phare, said it is important for Cambodians in Long Beach to be exposed to the art of the everyday life of Cambodians to reconnect them to their roots.

“Hopefully… they will want to go back to help people in Cambodia to invest or help the development of the country, especially the youth development,” Dara said. “Human resilience, the triumph of a life of adversity, and the message of hope should be embraced by the youth in Long Beach.”

“Khmer Metal,” a modern circus show, will show for one night only. Tickets range from $20 to $30 and can be purchased at www.carpenterarts.org.


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