Adelaide Town Hall
Until 10 Mar 2012

Review by Aaron MacDonald

“Tiger Mother” is a new musical by Angela Chan and Michael Manley which takes every single joke and stereotype about Chinese child musical prodigies and blends them all into a sharp one-act musical about tough love.

Like any good musical, the plot is simple and stays out of the way of the acting and singing – first gen Chinese immigrant Lily works her daughter Mei at the piano like a slave driver, wanting for her the opportunities she never had. Of course, Mei doesn’t see it that way, and hilarity ensues.

The music is incisive and entertaining (and hilarious – there’s a song called “Lazy White Children”) and the jokes are thick and fast. Performances by Chiew-Jin Khut and Yen Yen Stender are a little jittery but convincing.

There are long breaks between some scenes, but they’re mostly covered by hilarious butcherings of classical standards played by Chan herself.

It’s funny and heartwarming and well worth the price of admission. It played to sell-out audiences in Las Vegas and New York, and it’s in Adelaide briefly before it heads back Stateside to play in San Francisco, so see it quick.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)