Weiwuying’s Mandarin Musical Reed Unbroken - A Musical 22 Performances in Taiwan and China Across Three Years The Advanced Theater Version to be Premiered this Week at Weiwuying Playhouse
Reed Unbroken - A Musical, produced by National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), has received positive feedback since its performance at the Banyan Plaza in 2015. Since then, the work has been staged 22 times throughout Chinese-speaking cities. From May 2nd to May 5th, Reed will be returning to Weiwuying, rolling out four performances in a row at the Weiwuying Playhouse. The story of Reed was written by senior entertainer Peng Chia-Chia. Peng collaborated with renowned theater director Tseng Hui-Cheng, Golden Melody Award winner and musician Lee Che-Yi, and Sunhope Taiwanese Opera Troupe director Liang Yue-Ling. Four years after its premiere, the design team of Reed adapted the work to be more suitable for indoor performing venues and introduced the theater version of the musical. Reed will be conducted by music director Lee Che-Yi, who will be leading the presentation by One Song Orchestra and Chio Tian Folk Drums and Arts Troupe so that more people can enjoy the vibrant energy of Taiwan musicals.
The outdoor premiere of Reed in 2015 combined local narratives so that viewers can experience the Taiwanese spirit in nature, accentuating the cultural aspects of the storyline. With the revised edition completed the following year, Reed started touring as an indoor musical, touching the hearts of many with its plot and music. After three years and 22 performances in cities across Taiwan and China, Reed has been showcased in front of up to 25,000 people.
The story of Reed was incubated in the heart of writer Peng Chia-Chia for many years. Peng initially wanted to turn the idea into a film, but as he returned to Taiwan after completing studies on musicals in New York and met VMTheatre Company director Tseng Hui-Cheng, Peng changed his mind and decided to create a Mandarin musical instead. Structured according to the scale of Broadway musicals, the music of the work is completed by Golden Melody Award winner Lee Che-Yi. The leading female character is performed by Chang Fang-Yu, who starred in the Mandarin version of world-famous musical Mamma Mia. Finally, the work was realized with the support from Weiwuying.
Reed is about a Taiwan opera troupe that dares not perform Xue Pin-Gui and Wang Bao-Chuan. The story begins with each member of the troupe having pasts that they would not speak of, unfolding tales of the rise and fall of the troupe and love that transcends life and death. The section of Riding on a White Horse is especially heart-touching with its integration of traditional Xiqu and popular music. Reed Unbroken - A Musical presents a contemporary Taiwanese work with roots in the culture of Taiwanese Opera and structure according to Western music.