October 19, 2007

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“Jump” is in the air, but it’s still a little mysterious; everyone knows it’s a play, people talk about it, its posters are spread all around the city…even Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and their one million children went to see this new, cool attraction.

While I was wondering how a party of jumping Koreans became such a trendy and fashionable show in this big crazy city, my supervisor gave me tickets for it: “Mati,” he said, “go and see what happens in that theatre, should be at least interesting”…But the skeptical expression on my face lead Mauricio to say something that sounded a bit more ‘persuasive’ to me, like “You know, it has been given very good reviews in “Time Out” and other important magazines in NYC.”

jump-2.jpgI’m not the kind of person that goes mad about flying kicks, karate poses or crazy screams… let’s call it ‘Jakie Chan stuff’ but at that point, I was curious (I thought, why not?..I mean, the worst thing that could happen to me was that I would fall asleep), and unbelievably enough, in two hours I found myself on the subway, in the direction of the Union Square Theatre.
To whom has never been there – like me that night – it’s a small off-Broadway theatre, not so obvious to find, overlooking one of the most packed areas of the city (speaking as a tourist to other tourists, this is why the first time I stepped around Union Square I was so impressed..I mean, it’s exactly as I imagined NY to be!).

As soon as I walked in, I realized that I will have fun there; only young people were sitting among the audience, the atmosphere was warm. A strange, funny old Korean man, with white long hair (it was clearly a wig, and was equally clear that he was an actor) was walking with his trembling steps and his ancient stick between the rows.

After the beginning had been promising, the continuation turned out to be better. Actually, the play is a party of foolish Korean warriors, but it’s hilarious, a well choreographed idiocy!!
I mean, the plot was nonexistent –a family of warriors, from the noisy grandfather all the way down. It was just a pretext to let these great acrobats, martial artists and comedians perform their incredible abilities!
Hard as it to classify this show, comic relief? Yes! In the background.

Karate exhibition? Of course, but in a weird, new way.
Dancing? The music plays an eventful and important part in the show, and is constantly changing from disco to pop, to even tango…and can you even imagine how funny it is watching Korean warriors struggle at a tango’s pace??? –a blast, really!-.
I don’t want to forget one of the most comedic moments during the night: when guests in the audience were invited on stage to participate in a super silly fight with them.

Although I’m still not sure I can hit a definition for this Chul-Ki Choi show, I can definitely state that I spent 90 minutes in a row (the perfect time, not too short nor too long, with no intermission) of pure, light, idiotic and relaxing fun. Guess what? I didn’t fall asleep! Amazing!

Maria Teresa Armano (Italy)

Intern @ NYC Pocket & Travel Guides


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