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New musical based on Taiwanese novel set for online reading

  • Date:2020-11-10~2020-11-11
New musical based on Taiwanese novel set for online reading

A virtual reading of the new musical "Tropical Angels (熱帶天使)," a production adapted from a Taiwanese novel set against the backdrop of World War II, will be livestreamed via U.S. television channel HowlRound TV network on Nov. 11.

"Tropical Angels," a production by award-winning playwright Lin Meng-huan (林孟寰) and New York-based composer Lei Sheng (雷昇), is adapted from Taiwan's National Award for Arts recipient Chen Qian-wu's (陳千武) autobiographical novel "Coming Back Alive – memories of a Taiwanese special volunteer in the Imperial Japanese Army from Japanese colonial period (活著回來:日治時期臺灣特別志願兵的回憶)."

The novel depicts the self-discovery journey of a group of young people from countries in Asia who were brought together on a South Pacific island due to the outbreak of the World War II. As the shadow of death looms, the young people, who recommit themselves to defending their identity, find their destinies intertwined with each other.

Directed by David Thomas Cronin, "Tropical Angels" will feature eight performers from Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan, most of whom have partook in Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

The Nov. 11 online reading, presented by Taipei Cultural Center in New York, HowlRound TV, and Musical Theatre Factory, will be followed by a discussion featuring the Musical Theatre Factory's artistic director Mei Ann Teo. During the session, the New York-based Singaporean will share with the audience her experience producing musicals in the U.S.

To introduce the historical background of "Tropical Angels" – Taiwan's first original musical adapted into Mandarin and English language versions – an online forum will be held on Nov. 10 with Lin Meng-huan, Lei Sheng, and Charlene Lin (林采韻) from Taipei Performing Arts Center, as well as theatre scholar Ji Hyon Kayla Yuh.

As the Mandarin version of the musical is expected to make its debut in Taiwan in 2021, a series of pre-event warm-ups will take place, including a concert at PLAYground, theater at Four Four South Village, in Taipei from Oct. 23 to 25, a forum exploring literature and musical adaption in the National Taichung Theater on Nov. 7, and a musical reading (Mandarin version) at the small theater of the National Taichung Theater.