Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mozart Musical Round 2!

Well, I've got about 2 months left in Korea, which is a scary prospect, but also as I'm preparing to leave, I feel like I'm ready. I'll miss a lot of people and things for sure, but I'm excited to be an American in America again.

How I feel about my experience in Korea.

I'm especially excited to see my cat babies cause I miss them.

Look at theeeeem

My week was normal~ Watched Game of Thrones with Cesca, helped a friend with learning part of the Bang Bang dance, and then hung out with Cesca again while she was recovering from another health setback, an allergic reaction to medicine that was supposed to help. Lame.

Ces wasn't feeling great cause of that, but a while ago we had booked tickets to see Das Musical Mozart! because Kyuhyun from Super Junior was in it (and I liked the music last time), so off we went. 

We bought the cheap seats. The show has been here on and off for the last maybe 6 years, and I'm not entirely sure why they keep bringing it back, since by the looks of the theater, it's not that popular. 

This was it 5 min before curtain. On a FRIDAY. That's crazy

Since the other two Mozarts are musical theater actors ( I think, I don't know them well), their days are even less populated. And yet, they still haven't brought back Phantom of the Opera... lame. 


I didn't remember much from last time, only that I was confused and liked the music. I knew a bit more this time, having researched the plot after last time, 

The show is basically about Mozart's life and his struggle to be free while still doing what he loves, which requires concessions to his father and upper class people. I preferred the design last time, as it seems the show is redesigned each time. From what I remember, the set was a bit more dynamic this time, but I prefer Mozart to not have dreads. Just my opinion.

This time featured a jeans and dreads Mozart, obviously meant to set him apart from his baby genius spirit that follows him everywhere and eventually leads to his demise, and to contrast him with the stiff upper class period attired people around him. I know that this was originally more emphasized in the first version from Germany, with Korea also embracing a much fuller dread look a few years ago. 

Last time, in 2014, they did away with that and Mozart just transformed into a darker version in the second act, with his hair and attire being more similar to the time period, just a bit more mad after act 2 starts. This time, they went halfway with the dreads and kept Mozart's clothing distinct from both the genius inside and the other people. 

This is the 2014 design 

Mozart sings in this song (I Am Music) about how he's not good at things like poetry or acting or anything, but he is music and that's what he wants to do- free the music inside of him, as a life without music is meaningless.

Mozart is immature and selfish, wanting to only do what he wants, but also desperately wanting to be liked and loved, which gets him into financial and emotional trouble. His inner child genius does the writing of the music, while adult Mozart indulges in what he wants. The genius child eventually begins to haunt him, continually drawing blood with which to write the music. 

The end of the first act is a brilliant song called "I Want to Avoid My Fate/Destiny," where Mozart laments that it is not his outer enemies that plague him, but the demanding genius inside (the shadow genius that follows him and writes his music), that will eventually kill him. He questions how he can possibly be free when the very thing that chains him down is inside of him, and wishes that he could escape his fate and be someone else.

As this continues, Mozart struggles with the stress from his relationship with his father and the upper class, both of whom never approve of him. He falls in love with Constanze, a girl who indulges in Mozart's partying ways and whose family constantly asks him for money.

Their love song is super cute tho. It's called If We Love, We Can Understand/Know Each Other. It sounds nicer in Korean haha.

She sings about how she must inspire Mozart, since "I Am an Artist's Wife" and does nothing to sway him from his immaturity. 

The demanding genius and Mozart's nature cause inner conflict for Mozart, which in turn damages his relationships around him. Mozart questions everything and everyone, eventually losing practically everything he holds dear. His father, from whom Mozart so dearly wanted approval, unexpectedly dies (his mother previously died in poverty due to Mozart's frivolous nature in Act 1), and his relationship with Constanze deteriorates quickly after he throws himself into a new work, the Magic Flute.

Although he is the peak of his success after writing the Magic Flute, Mozart is alone and the genius can draw no longer draw blood from his arm. Having been commissioned by a mysterious figure to write a requiem, Mozart realizes that this is the end for him... the requiem is his. He begs the inner genius to kill him. With a stab to the heart, they slump over together, dead. 

The show is long but the pace is fast, since it covers a lot of events. Thankfully, I understood more this time, but the show is a lot of internal monologue songs from each of the characters, which makes it slower paced feeling than some other mega hit shows I like, like Les Mis, Phantom, or Wicked. 

This is especially noticeable in Korean (or I guess in any lesser known foreign language musical), because inner monologue pieces usually don't involve big set moves or action or anything, which can make you feel lost or bored if you're not following the lyrics. I don't know the exact words for, say, I Dreamed a Dream in Korean, but I know it in English so I can follow. If you don't know the song's meaning, sometimes it can be hard to tell what kind of monologue they're expressing, but I'm a lot better at figuring it out now, and my Korean is better so I could certainly understand more, which was a plus. 

Take a listen. The music from the show is quite awesome, which is why it wasn't a problem to see it again. Some of the vids have English subtitles to help you out~

Kyuhyun was great as the childish but tortured composer. I don't think the dreads were the greatest look on him, but I'm glad he did another musical I could vaguely understand before I left. His latest few have been ones I have no interest in. I hope he does more in the future~ He captured the earnestness, innocence and immaturity of Mozart well, so I'm glad we caught him in the show.

We say that this represents how we felt during the show, with Ces being like "uuuum, ok?!?!" Quite often. I can't really explain the show because it's quite quirky and weird, but the music is awesome so we quite enjoyed it. 

Grace loves musicals too, so she came too and enjoyed it. We
all agreed that we were like "whaaaat??!?" but were still
entertained enough to not care

They keep props out to take pictures, so we reenacted parts of the show for fun afterwords, since there wasn't a big crowd.

Our ridiculousness of reenacting the genius inside Mozart stabbing him for blood to compose with got a good reaction from the Koreans, who were probably perplexed as to why we were there.

Even though the show is a little strange and has a lot going on, it's one of my favorites I've seen in Korea, especially since I understood a ton more this time. Last time, when I went, I was really not good at Korean and was really lost for a lot of the show. But I had enjoyed the music so much that I bought the soundtrack, so I was genuinely excited to see it again. 

I wrote a lot today, but if you want to see some pics from the 2014 version and my thoughts when I didn't know much, you can read my old post here.

Cesca and I didnt get home till late, since the show ran till around 11. We got overly excited about the show, so we were up pretty late discussing it and finding some of the songs again. 

We lounged around Saturday morning and took care of some errands, and then we headed out to meet Lauren and Ga Hyeon to see a small indie band concert thing in a restaurant we frequent. Indie definitely means something different in Korea, but the second band was really good and it was a fun evening. 

The owner's dog came and sat with me
so that was adorable

On Sunday, we hung out till dance class, where we learned the adorable "Dream Girls" by IOI, the girl from from Produce 101.

It was a nice change from the super complicated dance from last week.

Sunday night is spa night, so I'm off to do my skincare process, with the extra steps included! Stay cool everyone, it's getting hot out there!!

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