Entries in kpop (8)


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 ๐Ÿค—

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



So, The View UpStairs ended and I got hit with a wave of Brooke Shields post-partum emotions and had to go deal with that for a moment. The past couple months have been filled with spiritually replenishing binges of netflix, ice cream, vintage 90s RPGs, crystal bedazzling, and jumping head first into my next massive creative project, KPOP!!! 

All of which is to say, I'm finally ready to dig myself out of a hole and update ya'll on all the crazy life-changing sh*t that went down between Spring and Summer. READY?? 

Here goes: 

1. I WENT TO MUTHAF*CKIN MOROCCO???? Yeah gurl I did. Here's me finding out there's a sale on Berber Jewelry happening 5 miles away.  

Someone told me there were Berber brooches on sale 3 miles away ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโœจ

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Apr 6, 2017 at 9:50am PDT

and this tasteful photo montage.

2. The View UpStairs went on to play 105 performances, to audiences of over 12,000 people (!!!) with many sold out houses like dis one below (definitely slept with at least two of the peeps in this photo, #sorrynotsorry)

who gave us some standing O love 

 & some more sparkly queer icons showed up like Drag Race royalty Bianca Del Rio, Latrice Royale, Peppermint, as well as theatre legends ANDRE DESHIELDS, Tony nominee Keala Settle, and 90s rockstar Sophie B Hawkins. 

some even created beautiful fan art! (thank you Dramatic Inking)

3. The View UpStairs had a GIANT LED BILLBOARD IN TIMES SQUARE for a month!!! WTF??? Seeing my name up there was truly one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I'm still not sure it happened, except that I took these photos so I'm pretty sure? 

#Repost @jeremypope ใƒปใƒปใƒป hello times square ๐Ÿ’ฅ#TheViewUpstairs

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Apr 14, 2017 at 8:15am PDT

4. Out Magazine wrote this dope piece about The View UpStairs, calling it "Remarkable, Revelatory, and Revolutionary" Pretty sure they were just talking about Jeremy Pope's bone structure https://www.out.com/theater-dance/2017/5/03/view-upstairs-why-diverse-queer-musical-vital-our-times

5. Was commisioned by the Public Theatre for a pop performance in their lobby commemorating the 60th Anniversary of their Mobile Unit. I pissed all over the floor, srry. 

 then later that same night, was back at Joe's Pub as the secret guest for Justin Sayre's final performance of the Meeting. A very gay ole time was had: 

6. I wore a kimono to closing night bc it's a known fact that that's what a lady do. 

and gave my final curtain speech 

7. The View UpStairs was ultimately nominated for 2 Lortel Awards, 3 Drama Desk Awards, and an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical- not to mention Frenchie & Nathan who won Jose Munoz awards for their amazing performances! We got dolled up all swanky like, and I crashed the Obies just cuz. 

Now with 300% more ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ #gay #offbroadway

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on May 23, 2017 at 6:49am PDT

8. It wasn't to be the end however bc Samuel French picked up TVU for its catalog. It will be published in the near future and is now avail for licensing (so all you kweens with theatres out there- jump on it!) 


happy to say rehearsals are already underway for new productions in Virginia (Richmond Triangle Players) and Los Angeles (Celebration Theatre), and a few more in the works I can't announce yet ;) 

9. We recorded the cast album with Broadway Records and I truly believe it is one of the greatest sounding rock musical records of all time. I say that as someone who grew up listening over and over to Rocky Horror, Hedwig, Hair, and Rent- we did it RIGHT, ya'll. I just hope the next gen of weirdo queer kids comin' up hear this record and get inspired to make some dope art...so plz preview and order that sh*t now- hot off the presses! 


10. So now, we bid goodbye to 1973 New Orleans with its gritty glam rock, cruise-y sex, tits that exploded confetti, queer history, and tale of romance, and flashed forward to KPOP- 2017 Korea, high fashion color blocked couture, dub-step beats and pulsing synths, snail mucus, pop celebrity, and nationalism. 

featuring this lovely cast of 284902131203 people! 

after only 1 week, 30% of our entire run is sold out, so don't sleep on getting tix. Use KPOPSICLE and LOLLIPOP codes to save $$$$$ http://arsnovanyc.com/KPOP

11. To feel my KPOP star fantasy, I had to give myself a lil makeover, and bedazzle I dunno...EVERYTHING!

Blinded by sparkles! ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ˜ต #diycouture #fashionporn #bedazzled #kpop

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jul 17, 2017 at 8:13pm PDT


After 4 YEARS of development, we start rehearsals in ONE WEEK. I can't believe KPOP is finally here. Now I just gotta get that pop star body. 

Is everyone having a nice Saturday night?

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jul 1, 2017 at 7:52pm PDT

Til' next time, Kweens and KPOP idols. Gotta go slather on my snail cream :*

This is what happens when you make theatre for @arsnovanyc ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ #kpop #๐ŸŒ

A post shared by Max Vernon (@frauleinsallybowels) on Jun 20, 2017 at 2:33pm PDT


KPOP!! (And some more TVU 4 U)

The last two weeks I was in a pre-production workshop for KPOP @ Ars Nova. Helen & I ended up writing 8 new fully orchestrated songs with english and korean lyrics in 11 days. #nosleepteam

At the presentation agent Di Glazer captured this legendary moment of resting bitch face.

but in addition to throwing shade and writing kpop bangerz, we also know how to strike a pose, no?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the creative planet, I also did a buncha new press for The View UpStairs. Justin Sayre invited Nathan Lee Graham to join him for his monthly 'Meeting of the International Order of Sodomites." Nathan slayed the ocean of glamorous homoratti with his souldful rendition of "Theme Song" from the View UpStairs.

Next day woke up and did a public radio interview in Brooklyn for WBAI's "Artsy Farty" Which has now been archived here:


Then we ran back to Midtown for the offices of Sirius XM, where we had a live taping with Seth Rudetsky. Seth did an interview with Michael, Jeremy and Taylor, then they sang a snippet of Crazy Notion and we high-tailed it back to the theatre for our 7pm show. On the way out, I had a fun kiki with downtown legend Joey Arias who I ran into in the lobby.

And then cuz I'm here for my community, I had this interview with Corey Dejardins for his Queer AF podcast. Check it out here: https://player.fm/series/queer-af/episode-3-with-the-view-upstairs-creator-max-vernon

But what the hell is that pic above where I look like Stevie Nicks meets a prostitute from the Weimar Republic?? ...It's from my photoshoot with TimeOutNY for the In Character section! Rockin' that Daniel Chimowitz couture (thanks Daniel!) Yes for a brief moment, my mug could be seen all over subway floors in NY, before being discarded like yesterday's trash :P

Some other fun things- This feature story with TDF:


And these *fierce* interviews from Frenchie (for Soule) and Nathan (for Show-Score):