So how does that KPOPsicle taste? (spoiler: good!)
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 01:13AM
max in kpop, max vernon, music, press

Sara Holdren, New York Magazine
"by the time the finale of KPOP comes around, if you’re not bopping along to the splashy, buoyant pop tunes by Helen Park and Max Vernon, well … maybe you don’t like puppies or rainbows either. KPOP is a delicious spectacle...but KPOP is no mere sugar bomb. Underneath the glam and the (highly enjoyable) gimmickry, the show is a candid and increasingly discomfiting look at the struggles faced by Asian artists"

Tamar Herman, Billboard
"While fraught with political and racial discourse, KPOP is also, at times, laugh out loud funny and a commentary on the actual K-pop industry, touching on the rapid pace of an industry that thrives on youth and beauty. As far as the soundtrack, KPOP, like the music it's named after, explores a wide range of genres and artistic interpretations. The show weaves dozens of bilingual songs into the plot, including a finale performance that features a stand out or two that could easily compete on Korean music charts."

Kathryn Yu, No Proscenium
"The music in KPOP is exuberant, with sharp hooks and maddeningly catchy choruses. On paper, KPOP reads like Empire meets The Voice with a good dose of immersive-ness thrown in as the buzzword du jour. But the work is more than just that. KPOP is ultimately something even more powerful and rare and meaningful: they’ve made an empathy factory. One built for our time, right when we might need it the
most. Long live KPOP. KPOP forever."

Zachary Stewart, Theatermania
"KPOP is gigantic. It is undoubtedly the most ambitious off-Broadway musical of the year, with pulse-quickening tunes...Composers Helen Park and Max Vernon re-create that magic with their irrepressible pop score, which will have you dancing through much of the show."

Adam Feldman, TimeOut NY

"The delightful new musical KPOP knows what kind of immersive theater it wants to be: The script says it aims to plunge us into the world of contemporary Korean music “like a bubble bath,” and that’s exactly what it does. Tiny bubbles of pleasure keep floating up and bursting all around us. Pop! Pop! Pop! We’re sold."

Ben Brantley, New York Times
"Ms. Park’s and Mr. Vernon’s musical numbers, choreographed with slashing wit by Jennifer Weber, are as synthetically sweet and perversely addictive as the real thing. (Think of them as ear Skittles.)"

Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

"Ambitious...wildly infectious original score composed by Helen Park and Max Vernon (in English and Korean). The musical numbers wouldn't look out of place at Madison Square Garden."

The New Yorker

"Exuberant, equal parts Willy Wonka and 'Blade Runner'...The show blasts away with a sonic boom."

David Barbour, Lighting and Sound America

"the songs, by Helen Park and Max Vernon, make the case that bubble gum is an international language...insanely catchy songs with enough unbridled energy to generat an audience frenzy. It offers provocative ideas set to an irresistible beat; just try to resist it."

Loren Noveck, Exeunt Magazine
"When the closing concert starts, it’s almost impossible to resist the infectious energy of the music itself, and of the mix of enthusiasm and precision in the performances. Composer/lyricists Helen Park and Max Vernon know, and clearly have enormous affection for, their source material, and many of the songs could work as both polished commercial pop songs and wry sendups of the tropes of those songs...Like the best pop songs, you walk out of KPOP feeling energized, thoroughly entertained, and humming a line of the chorus."

David Cote, What Should We Do
"an exuberant, candy colored and satirical introduction to Korean pop music that ends with a legitimately mind-blowing concert...Audiences should be forgiven for demanding CDs as they exit through the lobby."

Article originally appeared on Max Vernon Music (
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