Soft Power Previews

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GiantsInTheSky2
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Soft Power Previews#1
Posted: 9/25/19 at 7:25am

SOFT POWER had its first preview last night at The Public’s Newman Theater. Discuss below!

While we know it was a bit of a hot mess on the West Coast, I do know that they have been reworking the show a lot over the last few weeks. It will be interesting to see how it plays now.

I am big. It’s the REVIVALS that got small.
Updated On: 9/25/19 at 07:25 AM
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missthemountains
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Soft Power Previews#2
Posted: 9/25/19 at 7:29am

If its anything like what I saw in LA we are in serious trouble. Eager to hear reports.

Wayman_Wong
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Soft Power Previews#3
Posted: 9/25/19 at 2:24pm

For the record, ''Soft Power'' got its share of praise in L.A. and S.F.

Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times called ''Soft Power'' ''a wonderfully funny'' and ''bouncy exploration of ... East-West relations in a theatrical package overflowing with Broadway showmanship.'' He also raved that the "wildly charismatic" Conrad Ricamora has a "sumptuous voice [that] could charm hooligans at a Trump rally."

And Lily Janiak of the San Francisco Chronicle hailed "Soft Power" as ''daring'' and ''one of the defining theatrical works of the Trump era.'' The show ''could use some tweaks,'' but she, too, praised Ricamora's vocals. 

Updated On: 9/25/19 at 02:24 PM
JSquared2
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Soft Power Previews#4
Posted: 9/25/19 at 2:25pm

Wayman_Wong said: "For the record, ''Soft Power'' got its share of praiseworthy reviews in L.A. and San Francisco..

Charles McNulty of the L.A. Times called ''Soft Power'' ''a wonderfully funny'' and ''bouncy exploration of ... East-West relations in a theatrical package overflowing with Broadway showmanship.'' He also raved that the "wildly charismatic" Conrad Ricamora has a "sumptuous voice [that] could charm hooligans at a Trump rally."

And Lily Janiak of the S.F. Chronicle hailed "Soft Power" as ''daring'' and ''one of the defining theatrical works of the Trump era.'' The show ''could use some tweaks,'' but she, too, praised Ricamora's vocals.
"

 

Thanks for your unbiased cherry picking of quotes, Wayman!

Wayman_Wong
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Soft Power Previews#5
Posted: 9/25/19 at 2:31pm

JSquared2, you're welcome! Glad to offer an opposing viewpoint. Soft Power Previews

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LizzieCurry
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Soft Power Previews#6
Posted: 9/25/19 at 2:45pm
Wayman, I'm pretty sure I was at the same performance of Soft Power in SF as you were. The audience reaction was not exactly encouraging.

missthemountains, I'm VERY curious to see how much has changed. I won't get to see this until next month, though!
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Alessio2
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Soft Power Previews#7
Posted: 9/25/19 at 10:52pm

This was such a mess in LA, I'm surprised it's gone any further...

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Susanswerphone
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Soft Power Previews#8
Posted: 9/26/19 at 4:09am
Curious to see it, but will bide my time with lottery or rush seats. It's interesting that, given the mediocre reviews, tickets are hard to find until the end of the run.
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VernonGersch
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Soft Power Previews#9
Posted: 9/26/19 at 8:21am

Left at Intermission when it was in LA - wasn't my cup of tea - but folks that stayed said Act 2 was a ton better..

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Soft Power Previews#10
Posted: 9/26/19 at 4:58pm

Very eager to hear people's thoughts on this. My personal thought was it was one of the worst things I've seen on stage. 

"I never had theatre producers run after me. Some people want to make more Broadway shows out of movies. But Elliot and I aren't going to do Batman: The Musical." - Julie Taymor 1999
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Valentina3
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Soft Power Previews#11
Posted: 9/26/19 at 5:03pm

missthemountains said: "If its anything like what I saw in LA we are in serious trouble. Eager to hear reports."

I absolutely visualized the Angela Lansbury in your profile image making this face while reading that haha.

Soft Power Previews

Caption: Every so often there was a rare moment of perfect balance when I soared above him.
bk
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Soft Power Previews#12
Posted: 9/26/19 at 8:26pm

JSquared2 said: "Wayman_Wong said: "For the record, ''Soft Power'' got its share of praiseworthy reviews in L.A. and San Francisco..

Charles McNulty of the L.A. Times called ''Soft Power'' ''a wonderfully funny'' and ''bouncy exploration of ... East-West relations in a theatrical package overflowing with Broadway showmanship.'' He also raved that the "wildly charismatic" Conrad Ricamora has a "sumptuous voice [that] could charm hooligans at a Trump rally."

And Lily Janiak of the S.F. Chronicle hailed "Soft Power" as ''daring'' and ''one of the defining theatrical works of the Trump era.'' The show ''could use some tweaks,'' but she, too, praised Ricamora's vocals.
"



Thanks for your unbiased cherry picking of quotes, Wayman!
"

Exactly!  And Charles McNulty is an idiot - anything that's outre and pretentious is right up his alley, but even he had issues with this.  The whole thing is so precious - a few laughs here and there, and a lot of pandering to "hip" audiences - music was so-so, lyrics terrible, and the whole thing simply becomes a repetitive clunky mishmash - and frankly, knowing who's involved and how cocky people are, I'm guessing not a lot of work was done on it - I know for a fact that NOTHING changed between LA and SF - and isn't that what the purpose of trying out a show is for?

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Jordan Catalano
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Soft Power Previews#13
Posted: 9/29/19 at 11:01pm
Saw this tonight. That might be one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. People’s reactions in the theater were all over the place and during intermission I talked with someone who said “what the f*ck are we watching?” I can’t say I was ever bored as I was always entertained even if it was a completely bonkers ensemble number about guns in America or a ballad sung by Hillary Clinton, sitting in a chair eating pizza and ice cream from a huge ice cream scoop.

I will say some of the music is really beautiful but it does get lost and swallowed up by the insane story being told around it. I probably won’t get a chance to get back to this one but I am glad I saw it.
SouthernCakes
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Soft Power Previews#14
Posted: 9/29/19 at 11:11pm
That pretty much makes me want to see it haa
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MayAudraBlessYou2
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Soft Power Previews#15
Posted: 9/30/19 at 12:09pm

This show is insane, moving, funny, bonkers, thought provoking, and I'm so glad I saw it. And after the recent drab revival of M. Butterfly (which outside of Jin Ha's performance, was a big ol "meh" for me) it was great to see a stellar David Henry Hwang show and see the writer truly go for broke with his concept. There are some minor quibbles, portions that could have been condensed. But I loved this.

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Soft Power Previews#16
Posted: 9/30/19 at 1:48pm

This show had me at Conrad Ricamora. But I don't see it until the last weekend of the run.

bear88
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Soft Power Previews#17
Posted: 10/3/19 at 3:34am

I doubt many people who see it in New York City will have seen it in San Francisco or LA, but from Jordan Catalano's description, it sounds like the exact same show I saw on the West Coast. (I didn't like it, for what that's worth, but it's different and created by talented people.)

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Soft Power Previews#18
Posted: 10/3/19 at 5:50am

Was fortunate enough to have seen SOFT POWER when it ran in SF, and I really loved it. Yes, there were a lot of flaws in the structure and songs that still needed to be tweaked, but what a fascinating concept for a musical! Intellectually I was stimulated beginning to end, particularly loving the "Sunday in the Park"-type twist for Act II. Very excited to go back and see it again, and hopefully they've cleaned the things that I found to be messy in the out-of-town tryouts.

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HeyMrMusic
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Soft Power Previews#19
Posted: 10/3/19 at 2:03pm
I saw this the other night. Honestly, I think this is a must-see. It reminded me of A Strange Loop but from a Chinese American’s point of view. And how many shows can boast about having a full-size orchestra? I hear lots of changes are being implemented, so I’m curious to see how the show evolves during the preview process. But yeah, this is not one to miss. A really great score by Tesori and Hwang. The show is fascinating in every way and illuminates how limited the visibility of Asians onstage is. Also, a truly brave thing to write after quite a traumatic experience. (And how meta to see the real David Henry Hwang in the audience!)
EvanHansen
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Soft Power Previews#20
Posted: 10/4/19 at 11:43am

Hi, everyone--

Selling two tickets to SOFT POWER this Sunday night (October 6) at 8pm. Selling for $60 each. PM me if interested.

Ragged Tear
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Soft Power Previews#21
Posted: 10/4/19 at 6:47pm

I saw it this week and absolutely loved it. It surely won't be for everyone, but it really worked for me in all its insanity.

I didn't see it in California, but I did go back to read some reviews, and they definitely changed some of the plot (e.g., it's now set in NYC instead of Hollywood, and about writing a musical instead of creating a TV show).

And yes, when do you ever see 23 musicians for a new Off-Broadway musical?

bwayluver2
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Soft Power Previews#22
Posted: 10/5/19 at 1:00am
I saw it in LA, definitely clunky but personally enjoyed it. Others didn’t. Really looking forward to see how they’ve changed it here!!
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Soft Power Previews#23
Posted: 10/5/19 at 1:36am

Ragged Tear said: "I saw it this week and absolutely loved it. It surely won't be for everyone, but it really worked for me in all its insanity.

I didn't see it in California, but I did go back to read some reviews, and they definitely changed some of the plot (e.g., it's now set in NYC instead of Hollywood, and about writing a musical instead of creating a TV show).

And yes, when do you ever see 23 musicians for a new Off-Broadway musical?
"

I'm curious, did they keep the whole bit in the beginning about "a day with good air quality"? I had that bit playing over and over in my head last fall during the Northern California fires (and subsequent smoke!)

Calcifer2
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Soft Power Previews#24
Posted: 10/6/19 at 8:35am

Kitsune said: "I'm curious, did they keep the whole bit in the beginning about "a day with good air quality"? I had that bit playing over and over in my head last fall during the Northern California fires (and subsequent smoke!)"

Saw it last night and don’t remember anything about air quality. I never thought it felt too long/repetitive so either it’s been tightened up quite a bit or I just have a higher tolerance for the subject matter. 

Having seen it I am a bit surprised by the usage of bonkers and insane to describe it. Yes, it’s his dream so it is a bit wild but I’d save the more dramatic words to describe something like Gary. I don’t imagine it going to Broadway (although I am no expert forecaster) but I really enjoyed it for what it was. 

 

 

Updated On: 10/6/19 at 08:35 AM
SouthernCakes
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Soft Power Previews#25
Posted: 10/6/19 at 11:38am
I keep trying the Today Tix lotto! Dying to see this!