BWW Review: MAYBE HAPPY ENDING at VIVALDI PARK HALL, DCF DAEMYUNG CULTURE FACTORY
A yellow flower pot and a mason jar with a single firefly, when hearing the title of a particular musical, MAYBE HAPPY ENDING, these are the two images that pop up in my mind. When first performed in 2016, the musical was not only awarded with various prizes but set an amazing ticket sales and attendance record like no other musical. The heart touching story of Olivier and Claire has returned for its third production in Korea.
MAYBE HAPPY ENDING is an original Korean musical made by the iconic duo, Hue Park and Will Aronson. The story is set in the late 21st century, not far from the current time. There are a total of three characters, Oliver, Claire, and James. Oliver and Claire are helper bots, which are robots that are designed to help humans. However, as both are outdated models, they have been abandoned from their owners and live at an apartment where helper bots like them stay. The musical unfolds the story of Oliver and Claire, how they fall in a beautiful yet tragic relationship. The rhythm and lyrics of the songs are captivating, capturing the audience in a story.
For this year's production, a total of 10 actors were cast. For the role of Oliver, original cast member, Jaebeom Kim, and new members, Seongwoo Jeon, Juhyeop Shin, and Taeyou Moon joined to play the lively character. Claire, the lovely companion of Oliver is performed by Soojin Choi, an original cast member, and new actors, Jiyeon Park, and Hyein Kang. James, the previous owner of Oliver is played by Seungri Yang, Dongho Kwon, and Jongwan Seong. With the addition of new actors, this year's production was upgraded with more diverse interpretations of the characters.
MAYBE HAPPY ENDING is a musical that receives much love for every single production. When tickets are released, they are entirely sold out within minutes. So, what makes this musical so popular? It's hard to pinpoint out one simple reason. Starting from the wonderful music made by Will Aronson, the fairytale of Oliver and Claire written by Hue Park, the actors' portrayal of the characters, the musicians who perform the music live every single day, literally every little detail of the show adds up to making MAYBE HAPPY ENDING, a unique and special show.
If I had to choose one, it would be the storyline of Claire and Oliver. Claire and Oliver's love story is something different from the typical relationships that we commonly see. Their love is so pure that it seems perfect; however, there is a tragic point to it that it comes to an end. Hue Park did an amazing job in showing "love" within two robots that leads the audience to rethink about the true meaning of love and the power of it. The conclusion of MAYBE HAPPY ENDING is an open ending, therefore for every audience; it gives a different end to the story. Not only that, depending on the actors' acting per show, the ending could be interpreted in so many different ways. With this storyline and a set that matches, this show gives the ultimate cluster of mixed feelings, sadness, happiness, joy, and so on. This is a show that you will regret for the rest of your life if you miss the chance to see it.
The fairytale-like musical MAYBE HAPPY ENDING plays at the DCF Daemyung Culture Factory Bldg. 1 Vivaldi Park Hall until Feb 10, 2019. Tickets start at 22,000 KRW and can be purchased online or at the ticket box. Please check the cast prior to buying the tickets.
For more information, please visit www.globalinterpark.com.