Me, Myself and I
“Me, Myself and I” is the annual production of the Yi-Shin Taiwanese Opera Troupe in 2019 and one of the shows in the “2nd Traditional Arts Festival Flagship Productions” organized by the National Center for Traditional Arts. It is a musical that incorporates different stories performed in Taiwanese opera and Peking opera, telling the main storyline of Lin Xian-tang of the Lin Family from Wufeng, Taichung. The stories intertwined in the main story symbolize the main characters’ situations. The story is in a non-linear style. Each section is about an incident in that particular time background. It even included the development of movies and Taiwanese opera. This show is well represented by both on-and off-stage talents in Taiwanese opera, Peking opera, and modern theater. An all-star production from its production team to its cast, not to mention it received the nominations of the Group Performance, Best Script, and Best Music Awards at the 31st Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music.
Lin Hsien-tang accompanied his grandmother, Ms. Lou, to visit Laiyuan.
They watched many Wai-Jiang (nonlocal) operas that themed the timeless virtues of loyalty, filial piety, chastity, and righteousness. While the show was playing on stage, the regime changed offstage happened one after another. Although Taiwan was under Japanese rule for 50 years, Lin Hsien-tang never learned Japanese, wore a kimono or had a Japanese name. He gave up being the patriarch of the Lin family and even refused to become an inferior citizen under Japanese rule. Instead, he ran a newspaper and a school. He went back and forth from Taiwan to Tokyo 15 times within 14 years to submit petitions to ask the Japanese Government to convene a Taiwanese Provincial Assembly.
What he didn’t expect was that, after WWII, the National Government took over Taiwan. The office of the Governor-General of Taiwan became the President’s office. Yet, why did Lin Hsien-tang choose to stay in Tokyo, Japan for good?
In the evening, his residence “Dunlou” in Japan was decorated with many lights and lanterns that reminded people of Laiyuan, his home in Taiwan. At this point, Lin couldn’t tell whether he was in a dream or reality. Accompanied by the magical narrator, old Hsien-tang invited relatives and good friends to have a gathering here. His grandmother, Ms. Lou, granddaughter, Lin Lin, middle-aged Hsien-tang, Li Xiang-lan accused of being a traitor of Taiwan, director, Pai Ko accused of being a bandit spy, the ghosts of Taiwanese Opera performers, and the child stars in “Three Wandering Siblings “ that took Taiwan audience by the storm were all invited.
Just when everyone was having a great time, someone asked, “Which play are we going to watch to spice up the evening? Do you have the happy-ending version of the old tragic drama covered by mist? Well, here came the sound of drums, and the curtain for “Me, Myself and I” was about to open…