Entries in kpop (10)


To Slay Or Not To Slay The Kennedy Center

That was the question, and the answer was SLAY! 

Of the 100+ concerts I have performed in my life, my KenCen debut last thursday was my absolute favorite. 7 costume changes, we brought our strange rock & electronic musical theatre songs about snail cream, political radicalization, dildos, piss drinking night life transsexuals, cocaine induced time travel & the apocalypse to the most elegant of stages. We even forced the men in the audience to make a pact to stop masturbating in public without consent. I have no idea how my music ended up on this stage and lord knows I probably won't be invited back, but this show was pure magic & I'm grateful this video exists as an archive. When I die someday, please remember me this way πŸ‘©‍🎀❀️

Overstaying my welcome at @kennedycenter πŸ€—πŸŒˆπŸ’‹

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Nov 16, 2017 at 5:02pm PST

Kennedy Center: Conquered πŸ”₯

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Nov 16, 2017 at 4:52pm PST


Throwback: When KPOP Met Hamilton

The day before we closed KPOP 1.0 musical theatre superhero Lin Manuel came and got his lyfe. It's amazing to meet someone who just radiates that kinda positivity and makes you look in the mirror in comparison and be like I'M INTO DARKSIIIIDED STUFF!!!! YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAAAAANUH! jk, but for real tho Lin is a beautiful being, and he said a lot of really sweet stuff that I kinda half-remember bc I disassociated but thankfully there's this photo evidence. Hallelu! 

Da fuq?? We made Lin cry 😱 Now we’re ALL crying. Good night. #kpop

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on

And then just like that, KPOP ended it's very sold out extended off-Broadway run in a burst of confetti and glitter cuz that's how I do. Now where that transfer at?????? 

KPOP ends an amazing run tonight, completing a nearly 4 year journey. As a gay Jewish white boy from Los Angeles I knew very little about Korean anything going into this project, but about 1000 hours later of late night music video marathons, 50 songs written and produced with @mshelenpark, snail slime face masks, spending my entire commission in Ktown on bulgogi and karaoke, and also more seriously- learning from my Korean collaborators first hand the struggles and tremendous sacrifice that comes w being an Asian artist in America, I have so much respect and appreciation for the culture. Having the opportunity to fall so deeply in love with a new genre of music has been the greatest gift. Every time I see our KPOP stars perform on stage I genuinely fangirl the fuq out and pee a little. This show took more than 100 creatives from 3 diff theatre companies to put together. We built a goddamn FACTORY where there was nothing! 😱✨ thank you to @arsnovanyc @woodshednyc and @mayitheater for your vision. And thank you to @jasonkimny @mshelenpark and @teddybergman @decadancenyc for the most incredible collaboration. Love and 🐌🍭 forever #kpop

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on

KPOP. Out. βœŒοΈπŸš€βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on


Come Inside our KPOP factory


So how does that KPOPsicle taste? (spoiler: good!)

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" http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/theater-review-kpop-is-gangnam-style-with-substance-beneath.html

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." http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/broadway/7972940/kpop-off-broadway-show-race-identity

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."  https://noproscenium.com/finding-what-lurks-under-the-hard-candy-shell-of-kpop-eaa474e3f7cf

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." http://www.theatermania.com/off-broadway/reviews/kpop_82533.html

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." https://www.timeout.com/newyork/theater/kpop

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.)" https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/theater/kpop-musical-review.html

Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

"Ambitious...wildly entertaining...an 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." http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/kpop-theater-1042236

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." http://www.lightingandsoundamerica.com/news/story.asp?ID=PWB08I

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." http://exeuntmagazine.com/reviews/kpop-r-t-new-york-theatres/

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." https://www.whatshouldwedo.com/blog/kpop-ars-nova/



It's been a wild two months. The beast known as KPOP has landed in New York and our run has been a very sold out, confetti drenched, soju fueled, labyrinthian, exhausting, inspiring, neon candy colored tornado of WTF pop insanity. 

The New York Times wrote a dope article profilling some of our KPOP stars and sharing two of our songs "So in Love" and "Se Nam Ja": 


The New Yorker shot this beautiful pic of Ashley Park all rainbow pop-ified like


Tamar Herman, Billboard's KPOP writer, wrote this incredible, smart piece on how race & cultural identity feature in our show and the KPOP industry at large: 


while Playbill took a tour of the inside of our factory: 


In the process of training our KPOP stars, Helen and I picked up a lil choreo. We are ready to go on at a moment's notice! 


#tbt me and @mshelenpark learning the moves for Special K. There are no swings on KPOP. WE ARE THE SWINGS πŸ€—

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Sep 21, 2017 at 10:36am PDT

A very important scene from KPOP, that for whatever reason got cut from the show πŸ‡°πŸ‡·πŸ­πŸŒ #kpoplive

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Sep 18, 2017 at 9:15am PDT


I stole MwE (aka Ashley Park)'s hat. Who wore it better? 

Fan art got drawn: 

 music got recorded: 

Lewks got pulled, with half of my wardrobe now imported from Asia

Previews at times were stressful AF (we got evacuated by the fire department 5 times from haze??? the show initially ran 4 hours. songs got cut, jason kim threw out a dictionary worth of pages, woodshed collective glued 2389038209 capis shells to a wall, production meetings went til 3 am and we all got home every night at never o'clock cause the MTA b busted) Here is our collective resting bitch face serving you I haven't sleep in a month cause I sold my soul to off-broadway:


but we pulled that shit together, tightened it up like it was on meathooks, burned every remaining ounce of midnight oil and created something unique and moving and strange that I am very proud of. And then look! We all showered and got pretty and opened this mutha! 


KPOP runs thru Oct 21st, most of our extension is sold out, so grab tix b4 it's too late and come join us in the factory : www.arsnovanyc.com/kpop