Thanks for the Music
The sixteen finalists who defeats thousands of competitors stand on the stage. Four of them will become the leading characters for the musical Thanks for the Music. The director will tailor the exclusive play script and music, as well as organize the world tour, for these four winners. On the stage, every candidate takes turn to talk about unforgettable moments in his or her life. One of them thinks of his teacher; another of them recollects an unrequited love in a foreign snow land. Still another of them used to be a flight attendant who flew up in the sky at thirty thousand feet and celebrated his birthday twice because of crossing the date line, but he felt so lonely while no one was by his side. One of them used to be a 120-kilo fat man and lost 40 kilos in a half year for his beloved girl in the dance department when in the college. After the audition for the whole day, other than the director’s evaluation, the audience will also vote for their favorite candidates. Who will be selected? Every vote from the audience at present will influence the outcome of the audition.
Thanks for the Music is constructed under the structure of “casting competition.” It revolves around the life stories of then new generation Chinese singers, including Maggie Chiang, Van Fan, Fiona Huang, Chang Z-chen, Roger Yang, Adu Kaniw, and Tai Ailing, to disclose their bitterness before they get famous. Everyone on the stage who are eulogizing over life will show his or her wonderful adventure of pursuing dreams. While those characters discover their values of existence between the ideal of music and the reality of life, their emotional and restless souls are narrating the memories of youth belonging to all of us.
Director James Chi-Ming Liang
Script Lo-Jung Chen & James Chi-Ming Liang
Music Director, Composer, and Arrangements Bryan Chen
Choreographer Norman Feng
Set Design Shih-Chi Li
Lighting Design An-Huei Tsao
Costume Design Chih-Yuan Lo
Stage Manager Nuo-Hsing Huang
2009/11/02, International Convention Center, Taipei
With the concept of “play-within-a-play,” James Chi-Ming Liang, the playwright and the director of Thanks for the Music, played the role of the director and connected the whole musical. Thus, there was a fine line between the reality and the illusion. The artists on the stage and the audience in the seat experienced every moment in the audition together. Also, this musical had open and unfixed endings. The artists’ performances decide if they could be selected or not. The professor Hong Zu-ling from the Department of Theatre Arts in the Taipei National University of the Arts commented that “it skillfully and expressively displayed the art and culture of Taiwan’s musicals.” The professor Lu Jun from the Shanghai Theatre Academy stated that “the play script, the directing, the acting, and the drama of this musical were all very natural. It maintained the details of existence and manifested the quality of life. It was quite down-to-earth but like fireworks somehow. At the same time, it was elegant and wise.”