Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thoughts about Winter Sonata: The Musical

-The first half hour kind of confused me. Because... no singing? The first song came about half an hour in. Although they made up for it afterwards; there was actually a lot of singing in the show. Just not at first.
-The basketball danceoff business between Joong-san and Sang-hyuk was a little... out there. Like, I couldn't tell whether the show was taking itself seriously or not. And whether they were fighting or flirting. And also, which one was the Jet and which one was the Shark.
-I was super impressed with their "floater" actor. He had a lot of expression and physical comedy. Also, who even knows how to play the accordion?? According to Hotty, it's fairly common in Korea. But still, as a Westerner, I was impressed.
-I kind of wish the band hadn't been backstage, although looking at it now I can see that there really wasn't any room for the band to be visible. (In fact, there wasn't even enough room for both the piano and the drum set on the same side of the stage.) That's a situation that could have been solved creatively in a black box theatre, I daresay.
-Although the show already displayed a LOT of creativity. For instance, the business with the bus. LOVED it, especially the driver's costume! Although it confused me when the driver left - I didn't realize they were still on the bus, because I couldn't understand the dialogue.
-That time when they were singing... Joong-san only had one headphone in. And I know it's just how you wear them, but still. I was distracted, because... hey dude. Your headphone fell out.
-I liked the direction. I always knew where to look, I always had a good place to focus, and I ALWAYS knew the difference between the male leads. Watching the TV drama, I got confused (especially before Joong-san has red hair) because I couldn't always tell which guy was which. But with the musical, I always knew. It was partly because of the direction, and partly because the characterizations (especially Joong-san's) were great.
-Although I DIDN'T like Joong-san's characterization at the end. I get that his injuries shattered his confidence and made him a little frail, but I think the actor aged the character like fifty years - even though only three years had passed. It was a little over the top for me, and it made me very sad to see all of the character's swagger -which is the basis of his attraction in the first place - disappear completely.
-Also, who picked his wig? Because that thing either had a TON of hairspray in it (and needed to be washed) or was just super gross (and needed to be replaced). Also, if he's wearing a wig anyway, why not switch wigs during the time-jump and let him be a red-haired fox like on TV...?

Overall, I really liked it! I LOVED the music - I would buy the soundtrack, if there was one. And I loved Loved LOVED the set! I'm SUCH a fan of those minimalist sets - why bring a house onstage when you can bring on a bench and CALL it a house? Or, y'know. Put lights on a guy's shoulders and call it a bus.