Dongbei entertainment, errenzhuan, a mix of opera, stand-up comedy and singing, is popular in Shenyang. Liulaogen Dawutai (Liulaogen Theatre), on Zhong Jie (tel.: 0431/2484-5532), is one of the most prominent stages for the more than 300-year-old folk performance art, recognized as an intangible heritage in China. The classic lanterns, gigantic fans, red-colored Chinese surname characters, and flashy lights adorn the distinctive exterior of the Chinese-style theater. Show costs ¥200 to ¥460, starting at 7pm nightly and running for 2 1/2 hours. Conducted in Dongbei dialect, some of the gags are hard to catch even for those who understand Mandarin. But audiences are kept entertained and amused by the animated actors, roaring with laughter all night. Shows are always full; buy tickets early at the ticket office, which opens at 10am and sells tickets on the same day only.
Shenyang goes to bed at around 10pm on most Saturdays, but late nights can still be had. Mulligan's, an Irish pub inside the Holiday Inn Hotel, at Nanjing Bei Jie 206 (tel. 024/2334-1888), with its wide selection of international beers and a tolerable level of kitsch, is not a bad choice. A new bar street, Aoti Jiuba Jie, at the Olympic Stadium, Hunhe Nanan, opened Christmas of 2008, is expected to grow into another popular nightlife spot. At press time, the riverside site has eight pubs, but more are in the works. Q7, inside Times Plaza Hotel, at Beizhan Lu 99 (tel. 024-2396-6666), has one of the best club scenes. It is famous for its big video wall, impressive lighting and DJ stage, and selection of dance music.