Soft Power Previews

Boston Friend
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Soft Power Previews#26
Posted: 10/12/19 at 11:12pm
Saw tonight and not a fan.

Two hours of cosmopolitan elites snickering about what a terrible country this is.

It also has not aged well (with China’s recent threats to HK incipient democracy).
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LizzieCurry
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Soft Power Previews#27
Posted: 10/12/19 at 11:14pm
I saw it today and it has improved so much since San Francisco that I might be stuck in the comparison gulf, but I found it sharp and smart. It IS very much for a certain audience (one that would go to a midweek book signing on the UWS), but that audience seemed to enjoy it.
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SouthernCakes
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Soft Power Previews#28
Posted: 10/12/19 at 11:56pm
This is how I felt about the Inheritance! Is ever show just “rich people problems?”
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Dancingthrulife2
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Soft Power Previews#29
Posted: 10/13/19 at 2:48am

Boston Friend said: "Saw tonight and not a fan.

Two hours of cosmopolitan elites snickering about what a terrible country this is.

It also has not aged well (with China’s recent threats to HK incipient democracy).
"

Oh you call this democracy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw3GZXBGC34

LucyEth
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Soft Power Previews#30
Posted: 10/14/19 at 12:06pm

Saw the show yesterday afternoon.  Thought it was hugely entertaining, an old-fashioned musical with modern-day smarts.  David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori have, remarkably, combined a hate crime and the aftershocks of the Trump election to create a funny, moving and important piece of political musical theater -- all the time paying homage to R&H and the great song and dance shows of the past.  It's an odd, relevant and unlikely master work that ends on a note of heartbreaking hope.  Can you tell that I loved it?

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BIG BALONEY
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Soft Power Previews#31
Posted: 10/14/19 at 12:35pm
After seeing the show twice in L.A. I caught it this past weekend at the Public. There wasn't much of a change for me and once again I found it to be a pleasant musical based on a dream. Doubtful about the shows chances of moving to Broadway though. The three leads and cast are all perfect and 23 piece orchestra a rare treat. Whatever happens I wish them well.
bear88
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Soft Power Previews#32
Posted: 10/14/19 at 5:24pm

LizzieCurry said: "I saw it today and it has improved so much since San Francisco that I might be stuck in the comparison gulf, but I found it sharp and smart. It IS very much for a certain audience (one that would go to a midweek book signing on the UWS), but that audience seemed to enjoy it."

If memory serves, you didn't like it any more than I did on the West Coast. I'm now curious what's changed about it. It was a strange show for me, in that I admired individual performances and the ambition of it all. But I found the liberal smugness unbearable, in part because long stretches felt like bad - albeit ambitious - SNL sketches. Would that still bother me, or is it just a better version of a musical I still wouldn't probably like?

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LizzieCurry
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Soft Power Previews#33
Posted: 10/14/19 at 5:27pm
It's funny you mention that because I think "Good Guy With a Gun," possibly the most memorable song due to its title, is what changed the most, and for the better — and was the most emblematic of the liberal smugness you mention. (And I AM a smug liberal. Soft Power Previews ) It has a lot more pregnant pauses, it's way more serious, and it's played more for chills than for laughs. The entire show has less of an SNL-type sheen to it.

I can't remember if full songs were excised or inserted, but I didn't feel like I had to stretch to like it like I did back in June of 2018.
"This thread reads like a series of White House memos." — Mister Matt
bear88
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Soft Power Previews#34
Posted: 10/14/19 at 5:53pm

That sounds like a better approach to that song, which is one of those earworms I still remember more than a year later. The approach in San Francisco was jokey and really irritated me. The song ought to be chilling. If it is, that's a good change.

chrishuyen
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Soft Power Previews#35
Posted: 10/14/19 at 9:21pm

I also caught this again yesterday after having seen the first preview in LA (so not sure how much of it was changed over the course of the LA/SF run).  I think they really tightened up the flow of the show, especially in transitioning in and out of the musical part, and I'm not sure if some lines just landed better because they're more topical now, or if they were added later.  Transitioning it to be about creating a musical rather than a TV show seemed to be an obvious choice, so much so that I wonder why they even bothered with a TV show to begin with (though I do miss the idea of landing in Hollywood Airport, and the even crazier leaps of geography from LA to DC to SF).

The songs seem to mostly be the same, but I think the rally number seemed bigger in my memory (though I believe the Ahmanson also has a bigger stage), and Good Guy with a Gun was reworked, as mentioned, but I really liked how much it paid homage to classic Broadway.  I really enjoyed the ending much more this time too, with the transition to all the Asian cast members on stage singing the finale number.  And the placement of the orchestra was wonderful, which I enjoyed much more than having them in a pit.

The first act is still a bit rough before they ease into the musical portion, with what seemed to be very heavy-handed declarations about democracy and freedom versus choosing the best person for the job.  DHH seems to want to work a little too much of his own experience into it, and not necessarily done very deftly.  It reminds me a bit of talking to a child, where they might have some really good ideas but don't know how to communicate them, so they just end up saying the same words over and over as if to say "do you get it yet?", even after we already got the point the first time.  The second act opening was much smoother and almost made me wonder if the whole first act intro was really necessary; yes, it does add a bit of weight to the story and ties up the ending nicely, but would it be a better show if it were just removed completely?

I can't quite see it on Broadway anytime soon either, but I do hope they continue to play around with it and see where they can go.  If anything, it's so nice to see a cast that is almost fully made up of Asian actors.

bk
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Soft Power Previews#36
Posted: 10/16/19 at 12:48am

Am I missing something?  I've now seen several reviews for this show - why is there no review thread or round-up?

bear88
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Soft Power Previews#37
Posted: 10/16/19 at 3:09am

Peter Marks of the Washington Post has a mixed verdict, appreciating the ambition and performances but not thinking it really hangs together all that well.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/ever-wondered-how-china-sees-america-soft-power-offers-amusing-ideas/2019/10/15/ec49595a-eeaf-11e9-89eb-ec56cd414732_story.html

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haterobics
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Soft Power Previews#38
Posted: 10/16/19 at 9:19am

bk said: "Am I missing something? I've now seen several reviews for this show - why is there no review thread or round-up?"

Those usually only happen for Broadway shows on here. Off-Broadway is more hit or miss.

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carolinaguy
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Soft Power Previews#39
Posted: 10/16/19 at 9:36am

The rest of the current run is sold out and the reviews were mixed leaning positive with a couple of raves. So this will likely extend, right?

I'm sending pictures of the most amazing trees/You'll be obsessed with all my forest expertise
SouthernCakes
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Soft Power Previews#40
Posted: 10/16/19 at 11:15am
Hope so! Would love to see it! Would it come uptown? Not much in the way of competition for an original musical this season.
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Soft Power Previews#41
Posted: 10/16/19 at 11:50am

If anyone wants the third row aisle seat I just exchanged on Saturday night, it is up for grabs!

https://publictheater.org/reserve/reserve?productionseasonNumber=40686&performanceNumber=40709

Calcifer2
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Soft Power Previews#42
Posted: 10/16/19 at 5:16pm
Tickets are now showing as available again for many of the remaining performances.
Wayman_Wong
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Soft Power Previews#43
Posted: 10/16/19 at 6:31pm

Frank Rizzo in Variety gave ''Soft Power'' its strongest rave, calling it ''thrilling, moving and revolutionary. You may never look at an American musical the same way again. … [It] miraculously manages to be subversive as well as funny, touching and thoroughly entertaining. “Soft Power” deserves to be fast-tracked to a larger stage, where its sweep, smarts and 20-piece orchestra can be presented in what the piece itself refers to as a “big, big show.” Rizzo also praised Conrad Ricamora's ''star-making performance.''

Though written by 2 Tony winners - Hwang and Tesori, it would be quite a commercial risk to take it to Broadway. The reviews are mixed, and it's an original musical and a wacky political satire about U.S.-China relations. It has no big-name star, and isn't based on a movie, book or jukebox score with a built-in following. That said, I loved the show and its terrific, nearly all-Asian-American cast, and hope they find the wider audiences and awards they deserve.

https://www.variety.com/2019/legit/reviews/soft-power-review-musical-public-theater-1203369974/

Updated On: 10/16/19 at 06:31 PM
chrishuyen
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Skip23
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Soft Power Previews#45
Posted: 10/17/19 at 11:05pm

Percy Jackson at the Public.

Felt like children’s theatre to me. Everything spelled out in BIG strokes.

Yeah....WE GOT IT.

Abysmal.

 

Updated On: 10/17/19 at 11:05 PM
52889j
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Soft Power Previews#46
Posted: 10/19/19 at 10:07am

Has anyone had luck with the TodayTix rush? I've logged on a few times at exactly 10 and it's said "all tickets being hold" from the moment they're "on sale."

chrishuyen
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Soft Power Previews#47
Posted: 10/19/19 at 11:25am

52889j said: "Has anyone had luck with the TodayTix rush? I've logged on a few times at exactly 10 and it's said "all tickets being hold" from the moment they're "on sale.""

I got it last week. If you log on about a minute before the 10:00am, it shows you a countdown and you can see the options for one or two tickets grayed out. You have to hit your ticket choice right as the countdown ends. 

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macnyc
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Soft Power Previews#48
Posted: 10/19/19 at 11:26am

Use code PPLMVR20 for $30 tickets with no fees!

SouthernCakes
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Soft Power Previews#49
Posted: 10/19/19 at 11:41am
Thank you for that!!! Going Sunday!!
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macnyc
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Soft Power Previews#50
Posted: 10/19/19 at 12:42pm

You’re welcome! That code can be used for all the fall shows at the Public. It won’t work for premium seats though. 

Updated On: 10/19/19 at 12:42 PM