Sunday, July 19, 2015

Phantom Strikes Again... Ooops?

Ha I ended up at Phantom again. I'm like a moth to a flame, guys.

Normally I would be responsible on a school night and not stay out until past midnight just to see a show, but A.) this show is Phantom, which is close enough to Phantom of the Opera for me to be justifiably excited and B,) my classes this week and next week are in filler mode because the semester ends Thursday. I regret nothing. 

After seeing Park Hyo Shin in Phantom and being blown away, I invited Young Ah and Cesca to go again and see it, mostly cause I just really wanted to see it again haha. His weekend shows were sold out, but we managed to get tickets during the week because I basically insisted we see him. Sorry not sorry. I needed those two to hear what I heard the other day.

So glad she was down for it

The rest of my week wasn't that busy anyway... Just speaking tests, a filler lesson about English speaking countries, a movie and an alphabet day. Click there if you want to see what that means. My adorable little 3rd graders... hehe.

Anyway. Easy week. No pressure.
So I figured if there was a week to stay out too late and slack, it was this one. 

Young Ah was worried I'd be upset about seeing the same guy- ha! Sometimes I forget my Korean friends don't really know the extent of my musical madness...  If it was the other show, I'd probably see every possible cast combination, but because I'm not super familiar with Phantom and I don't like it as much as PotO, I was totally ok with seeing the same actor play the Phantom, since he was amazing. I don't think I would have liked it as much without his awesomeness. Plus, Young Ah was curious about how well this celeb could possibly do in a musical, since his singing style is very different in his songs.

So... off we went to see the show. It's admittedly more fun when you're with people, especially in Korea where they have lots of cool things set up in the lobby for you to see. 

I even was able to surprise a lady in line while we were waiting to take pictures. She turned to her friend and said, "But how will foreigners understand what's going on in this show?"

I turned to her and said, "Actually, this was originally an American musical so the OST is in English and we've heard it before."

Woman to friend: *gasp* wow she understood us!

Me: And this is my second time...

Woman's friend: That's still really awesome to come. If I listened to a musical in English I wouldn't know what was happening and be bored.

Me: Oh, I really like Phantom of the Opera. Enjoy the show!

It's funny to get to acknowledge people when they talk about you and to surprise them. They weren't being malicious or anything, I think they really were genuinely curious as to why a foreigner would see a show in Korean. 

Back to the fun pictures...

We all had to get a picture with the man of the hour haha.

To be honest, I didn't actually know Park Hyo Shin was the level of famous that he actually is, because he's not in the news that often and doesn't do much broadcasting. I'd heard his songs before but didn't connect the name with the songs or face, because that happens to me a lot in Korea.

I'm pretty sure like 90% of the women were there specifically to see him. We were too, but I'm not sure how much of their interest was in the actual musical, which, for me was a big reason to go again, because, you know, I'm crazy. Phan with a ph and all of that.

The audience was much more vocal this week rather than Saturday, and, out of curiosity, I checked the tickets to the rest of his shows, since the run ends next weekend, and his are all sold out. Such is the power of a celeb, I suppose. 

Young Ah was excited to see him. 
Turns out he's renowned as one of Korea's best singers (he's referred to as a god of singing because "Shin" in Korean means god and is also coincidentally part of his name), but most people (Young Ah, an actual Korean included) had/have no idea that he sings musical theater so well. I wouldn't have guessed it was him based on some of his other songs either. In fact, Young Ah told me when he debuted, his husky/deep style was really unique and people said he sounded like a cow singing. Apparently a talented cow, but still.

(I'm putting this here in case you didn't check it out last time, but seriously, it's one of the most beautiful songs I've heard. AND HE SANG it LIVE FOR THIS VIDEO. Just watch it. Doooo it.)

His more recent stuff hasn't quite been in the 'cow' range and to me is much more awesome and powerful than his earlier things, and he only recently started doing musicals. His voice is very well suited to it, so I hope he does many more shows while I'm here.

I wish they'd done a press release and preview for Phantom like they've done for other shows, but here's PHS in the press run through Das Musical Mozart! from last year. They're apparently doing it again this year, but I'm not sure I'd want to go again, even if Park Hyo Shin was in it. I think I'd prefer to see something else, especially something that has an English language counterpart so I can get an idea of what's happening before I go.

Namely I hope they bring back the more famous version Phantom of the Opera and he does that one. Just saying. Ahem.

This turned out well for me because besides Park Hyo Shin,
most of the cast was different. 

Now, I kind of wish I had seen this show earlier so I could have recommended it to my office and such, but I'm also glad the temptation isn't there to go again. It's a great show, but it lacks some of the power and mystery of the original novel, and creates some even more implausible/ridiculous situations. The music is great, although it doesn't have as many ear worms as the ALW version does.

I do adore this song though. It's a duet between Erik and Christine called "You Are Music" (In Korean, the title is "You Are My Music")

Oh, you are music/ Noble music/ You are my clear(bright) light
Oh, you are music/Dream like music/You are my life

The first time I saw it was fun because I didn't know what was coming all that well, having only heard the soundtrack and seen the basic mini series a few years ago. The second time it was fun to be the expert, but also allowed me to look at the flaws in the show. It was pretty long to sit through (it runs about 30 min longer than PotO, which puts it in Les Mis territory of length). 

Plus the second act is a lot more draggy and long, since they added a ballet blast from the past sequence. It certainly takes itself less seriously than the ALW version, what with the Phantom joking about his face (!) when he says "(Carlotta's) singing sounds worse than my face looks!" and even using a line from a famous ramen commercial (Young Ah had to explain that one to me).  And the whole underground forest thing... ha. ha. ha. Seriously, my favorite line in the show is when Christine asks Erik to show her his face (at least she asks for permission in this version?) and he, in an effort to change the subject, goes "Uh... It looks like it's going to rain..." bahahaha.

My last blog post was all about this, and so I'll stop rambling now, but the difference between the shows are vast. Some for the better, some for the worse.

Please do more musicals.
I'll break the bank
if the original PotO comes here, esp if PHS stars

Bottom line: Cast, especially Park Hyo Shin, was stellar. It was fun and fresh, but I still prefer the ALW version. Would  probably see this again if it comes back, if the cast  is interesting. More than that, I hope PotO comes back before I leave Korea.

Again, the rest of my week was normal and we all know my most exciting times are musical times, so the rest of the week was a blur of being excited for the show and being excited after the show.

my hair was outwardly expanding on my walk
home due to the humidity. Was not pleased.
Picture does not portray the crazy levels
of hot that it was

Korean pizza strikes again Why are there
raisins and almonds on my pizza. 

Our school updated our monitors for the
first time in apparently quiiiiiiite a few years.

I tried on Young Ah's glasses on the walk home

View from my school on a beautiful, finally not
humid day.

Lauren, Cesca and I decided chimaek was
in order for Friday evening. We ordered too much
but whatever

Just proving that I didn't just go home and
watch TV alone 

We watched Bring it On haha. We also
watched She's the Man as well. SO FUN

I actually had a low key Saturday. When we saw Phantom, I actually felt pretty sick during most of the show. I thought it might be because I had gotten myself overly excited for seeing the show again (this tends to happen with my life in regards to musicals, especially if they're related to Phantom of the Opera), but I realized by Act 2 that it wasn't just excitement. Staying out late and getting up early for school didn't help, I'm sure, but man I did not feel well that night or most of the day after. I'm normally always hungry, but I didn't feel like eating breakfast or lunch for a few days. 

I haven't been sleeping well because of the heat, excitement, drama, skype and school stuff (camp and visa things), so I'd been feeling a bit run down, and at Lauren's I started to feel that tickle in my throat. Trying to fend off a cold or illness, I basically just rested on Saturday. I must have really needed it too, because I slept for most of the day and only got up to do some easy chores and to make food. I caught up on my dramas AND studied for my vocabulary test, so it wasn't a waste of a day. Sometimes you just have to take care of your body and chill at home.

I felt a bit better on Sunday, so I went to dance class with Cesca, which was fun but also super hard because we did another boy group song from a group that's crazy good at dancing (Beast). I failed spectacularly but oh well. It's good for the exercise! 

It's time for the last week of the semester, summer camp and then Veronica is coming to visit! We are making tons of plans for her vacation. So many things to pack in, but 2 weeks is a long time. Can't wait to see her!!! Now I just have to get through the last week (including a staff dinner...) and summer camp before freedom!!! I can tell my students and I need a break and are a little burned out, so I'm glad it's almost time to refresh and relax. 

Hoping for nice weather and an easy week for all of us out there! Fighting!


I've obviously been on a Park Hyo Shin kick recently, so I've been listening to him. I didn't realize I'd heard some of his songs before I started looking things up after Phantom, but since he is so famous, I have heard some stuff before in dramas or things, but I mostly had heard him in  clips of Mozart!, so that's where my curiosity had originally stemmed from. I'm glad my curiosity won out and I found so many great new songs!

 I tend to prefer his more recent stuff more than his debut and early work, because he has a beautiful range and I think he sings more clearer and his voice is more beautiful when he isn't doing quite so deep a voice. He does some more peppy things too, not just depressing songs or ballads.

I'm glad he doesn't only do ballads. This upbeat, cute song is sure to put a spring in your step. So Happy Together~~

This is arguably his most notable song, Snow Flower. It is probably the one that really made him famous, and he still sings it all the time today.

 It's from 2005, so if you listen to this and his recent stuff, it's hard to believe it's the same person. He seems to sing a little higher now, going more for belting ballads like Wildflower or upbeat songs like Happy Together. Even now when he performs songs like Snow Flower, his voice doesn't go quite as deep, yet it still sounds gorgeous, as you can hear here from his most recent concert.

Seriously, I could listen to him sing the phone book.

I can tell he'll be on my walking to school playlist for a while. Hope you enjoyed something that's not Kpop!

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