Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In A Word... Director Rick Tae on A - My Name is Alice (Vancouver)

The most awesomest thing in the world!
creativity needs more than just hard work
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Director Rick Tae boasts many musical theatre experiences, including Falsettos, Company, Baby and Flower Drum Song. With a BFA in theatre arts, a Leo Award, a Gemini Nomination, a film company, a tech company, and work with A-list Hollywood executives, Mr. Tae aspires to continue bringing diversity, unique storytelling and humour to his wide spectrum of projects. Returning to his first love of Broadway shows, alongside community partners VACT, Skycorner Productions and, he's always triggered by an enthusiastic and talented Vancouver theatre community who inspire him to share rare musical gems with local audiences eager for spirited entertainment.

CHARPO:  Before we get to ....Alice, I notice a good deal of your bio is in other art forms with theatre credits being a lot of musical theatre. What is it about musicals that tempts you back?

TAE: Musicals move me most as my first love because they provide an ability to mix a very fantastical world with a multitude of complex issues in our own reality.  As they say, music is a universal language, and so the appeal is far-reaching.  The immediacy of musical theatre, having the artists and an audience inside the same room at the same time breathing in the same air, gives me a sense of communion and belonging that other digital art forms tend to lack.

CHARPO:  What would you say to readers who automatically think, "I hate musicals!" to lure them to Alice?

TAE: Come enjoy the poetry behind the lyrics, the energy, satire and humour of the vignettes and the visual power behind the dance numbers.  In addition, this show celebrates diversity inside this new stage of feminism -- presenting ideas, themes and characters as they are -- and allowing the audience to gauge for themselves what a celebration of women might mean to them today.

CHARPO: Now, for the musical theatre nuts - how can you ease their concerns about it being a "revue". 

TAE: Think of the play-all functionality of a YouTube channel.  Sound bites. The juiciest bits of entertainment, song and dance put together for this high-speed generation without you needing to move a finger even.  If the question is about whether one can root for characters that lack an overall story arc... then please don't worry about a thing.  The five actresses share powerhouse performances that will move you to tears and laughter regardless. The themes of each show number bring depth.  The actors, the production team and I have endeavoured to package that all in limitless emotions and sheer fun.

CHARPO: Now tell us about your process? Each director approaches a show in a different way - is there a stricter process for musical shows?

TAE: "Stricter" is merely a measure of one's own ability to live with one's actions and be able to sleep soundly at night.  I'm strict with life in general.  Perhaps it's ingrained in my upbringing.  Or maybe it's just a show of gratitude towards the many opportunities and freedoms I've been blessed with in this world.  So if I'm not giving each day my all... I feel like I've abused the privileges I've been awarded with this so-called life of mine.  I'm, however, not militant at all.  Yes, rehearsals are meant to produce results.  But creativity also needs more than just hard work.  And with musicals being a way of combining the skills of singing, dancing and acting... an understanding of one-step-at-a-time in the process is always a well-memorized mantra.

CHARPO: What did you bring of your other disciplines to the show?

TAE: Subtext, patience and a true feeling that musical theatre is the most awesomest thing in the world!

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