Taiwan has seen a string of musicals over the past month performed by local theater companies, most recently My Daughter's Wedding performed in Mandarin and Hakka and April Rain in Hoklo (Taiwanese) and Hakka. Beginning tomorrow night, LAN Creators' (嵐創作體) brings I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, an off-Broadway musical performed entirely in English (with Chinese subtitles) by a Taiwanese cast, to the stage.
A Taiwanese cast performing a musical in English may sound like a recipe for disaster, but if the rehearsal on Monday night was any indication, Taipei has a whole crew of actors capable of singing and acting in a second language.
Director Jackie Lin (林家億) is taking an innovative approach to mounting the show. Rather than having it run for the usual three or four days, Lin, who has seen the original off-Broadway production twice, is mounting the show for 24 days at the Crown Theater.
"Taipei has 5 million people - New York has only slightly more," Lin told the Taipei Times on Monday night before rehearsals. "We have to try to give audiences a different choice. We can't always think 'we can't sell tickets on Tuesday because nobody will see the show.' This is wrong. We have to try to change audiences habits and find a way to make them feel comfortable."
Lin's solution is to stage a musical that is both funny and easy to relate to. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change has something for everyone; the characters' ages span five decades and the plot deals with relationships in humorous ways. I Love You's dialogue has been compared to that of Seinfeld.
This new approach is a test, Lin said, for audiences, to see if they are willing see the play on weekdays. But it is also a test for the actors as the long run will be a challenge.
What: I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Where: Crown Theater (皇冠藝文中心小劇場), B1, 50, Ln 120, Dunhua N Rd, Taipei (台北市敦化北路120巷50號B1)
When: Tomorrow until Nov. 30, every evening at 7:30pm, except Mondays
Tickets: NT$750 and NT$1,500 and are available through NTCH ticketing, Eslite Bookstores and Fnac, or online at www.artsticket.com.tw
On the Net: www.lancreators.com
Lin has arranged for two casts to perform the show on alternating nights.