Not Laoshe Teahouse, but Dazhaimen. Still, dinner and a performance of more-or-less traditional Chinese performing arts. It wasn't too bad, actually, but unfortunately my body decided to crash somewhere between my last lesson and home, to the point where I was starting to feel a little nauseous as we discussed our travel arrangements. Still, I started to come back online as we approached Dazhaimen, and I managed to appreciate, if not actually enjoy the performance.
A full review, like all the other overdue blogging (my parents are still in town, and they take first priority), will follow when time and energy allow. So allow me to deal with only the most important question now: Is it worth it? Well, yes, but only under a specific set of circumstances: If you have friends or family visiting from outside China who could use a brief, tourist-friendly introduction to traditional Chinese performing arts, then go for it.
The prices are high, but manageable, especially when tourists/short-term visitors are involved. The portions are noticeably smaller than in a real Beijing restaurant, but enough is served that you won't need to run round to McD's for a stop-gap. The performances certainly are not the best or most 'authentic' of their respective genres, but they're more than enough to introduce tourists/short-term visitors, and served in tourist-friendly portions (you don't take a newbie to a full-blown Peking Opera. Walk before you run) and the performers are certainly competent enough to deserve their place on stage.
So yeah, it certainly served the purpose. My parents got a brief look at traditional Chinese performing arts. Some acts really impressed them, others they loved, some acts they could've quite happily missed (Peking Opera is an acquired taste- fortunately that accounted for only two of the acts). I'm tempted to pick holes in the food and service, but the fact is the food was good and the service satisfactory- yeah, I'm still a bit grumpy. I get that way when I'm tired- and Mum and Dad certainly had no reason to complain. Well, one or two dishes were too spicy for them, but that's ok, there was plenty of other stuff for them.
So if you're purposes matched our reasons for accepting my colleague's invitation to Dazhaimen, then I recommend it. If you already have a basic grounding in Chinese performing arts, go somewhere else.