Angela Chan has turned her strict childhood upbringing into a musical comedy. The Legacy of the Tiger Mother is a cabaret-style piece that has been presented in Las Vegas, New York City and Australia and will show in San Francisco this fall.
Chan co-wrote and produced the show after years of playing piano for professional theaters and national tours. The story depicts how Lily, an immigrant from China, pressures her daughter, Mei, if she isn’t disciplined in her piano practice. The show features South Park-style songs.
The “tiger mother”-style of parenting has been a hot topic recently — and something Chan and some of her Chinese American friends have experienced from their parents. But Chan notes, “They’re also very dedicated. We wanted to show that side of the tiger mother.”
Her mother practiced the piano with Chan since she was 4 years old — helping Chan to attend UNT from 1996 to 1999 on a piano performance scholarship. She says, just like her mother, the music programs at UNT set up expectations that proved valuable in her career.
“What was great about UNT is it sets the bar so high,” she says. “It puts you ahead of the game.”