Great Wall is a full-length musical based on an original two-part concept album by singer-songwriter and composer Kevin So and book writer Kevin Merritt. Although not a biography, many of the events and themes of the show are based on the real life experiences of Kevin So growing up as an Asian American folk/r&b performer in Boston, MA. Our story starts with the death of Kevin’s father, Stanley, forcing Kevin and his mother, Grace, to manage the future of the family restaurant, Great Wall. To make matters more complicated, a fantasy character, Victor Woo, from Kevin’s high school days is resurrected and pushes Kevin to reconsider abandoning his passion for his music and dream of being a “star.” While trying to honor his father, respect his mother and follow his dreams, Kevin is forced to reconcile the cost of disappointing others to be true to himself.
Great Wall presents an intimate story of a family’s struggle to fulfill their individual versions of the American Dream. It also explores the larger topic of media’s the effect on our childhood and, as a result, it’s influence on how we Americans determine our own individual success. All these themes are presented in the context of the immigrant experience, and more specifically the Asian American experience.
KEVIN SO – Music & Lyrics
Kevin So has earned the respect of Keb’ Mo’, Billy Bragg and playwright David Henry Hwang, and has built a loyal fan base around the world for the past 20 years. He has performed more recently at Carnegie Hall and The Ryman in Nashville. Kevin was also recipient of the 2007 NYC Fringe Festival Award (Best Music & Lyrics) for “Great Wall.” His songs have been recorded by India Arie (“Crush On You”), Keb’ Mo’ (“Talk”), and Shemekia Copeland (“Sounds Like The Devil”). He currently lives in Nashville with his dog Monk.
KEVIN MERRITT – Book
As a producer/writer/director, and the owner of One Foot Productions, Kevin splits time between live television, theatre, and music, executing experiences for shows and networks such as Tony Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, VH1, IFC, Presidential Inaugurations, HBO’s Def Poetry, Broadway at the White House and the 2016 Democratic Convention. He directed season 2 of the CW cartoon GoGoRiki and was Associate Director of the Tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella starring Eartha Kitt. He serves on the Board of the non-profit Music2Life developing original content highlighting the transformative power of music as a stimulus for social change. Finally, as a musician himself, he has performed on, arranged and produced numerous recordings and “played for food” many times!
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SCRIPT AND MATERIALS
To read Great Wall, click here!
To listen to the music, click here.
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