The evening started with So Gee getting hungry. "I have to eat," she said. "I can go to this bakery."
Loren called a few minutes later. So Gee was in the middle of her crab cutlet sandwich. "I am eating faster," she said, and chomped.
I don't like being late for theater performances. I think this is well known by my friends.
We met up with Loren and his students ten minutes later. They were all very cute and full of youthful wisdom.
We watched the rock musical, "Line One". It was about a Chinese-Korean immigrant to Seoul who loses her way up and down the line one subway route, befriends a prostitution ring, the homeless, janitors, and street vendors, and then finds salvation in this unsuspecting, empathetic community who show her that Seoul is full of smog and corruption, but loving kindness as well.
The music was done very professionally. Band members were situated above the stage behind a scrim, and from what I could tell, it was only a five-piece group that included a saxophonist, drummer, bassist, guitarist, and keyboard player.
I liked the keyboard player best, because she was wearing a semi-sari on her head that made her look like she was on an African safari, and that made me think about safaris, which is a nice thing, because safaris make me think about lions, and I like lions.
The production was very professional. Everything was very choreographed, and you could tell that the performers had all been trained under a stringent director. At the same time, the rigidity of the performance did show up as a bit hammy at points, and if I was directing, I would have tried to leave more room for improvisation to shape the piece in different ways.
The highlight of the evening was a rap in Korean, where a subway vendor touts his goods in a very Tom Waits fashion - going through an escalation of more and more dramatic sales pitches, until finally he removes his hat to reveal a rubber glove - the original sales item - attached to his head.
When he started bobbing his head left and right to the 120 BPMs of the song, he looked like a cross between The Beastie Boys and a rooster, I just lost it. Very funny. During the rest of the production, my only hope was to get a picture with him. I know. It's very Princess Leia of me., but the performance was that inspiring.
Luckily, the picture above is with the entire cast.
After the musical, we all went to a jazz club. Loren ordered a feast for his students, and we chatted about the prices of apartments between Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Seoul. Since most of the students had lived in most of these cities as well, there were many interesting assessments made. Probably the most fascinating of them all, was that I felt very much like I was home in a conversation like this. Loren's students are truly wonderful and extraordinary. I think if I had classes with the lot of them, I could last out in Korea much longer then my deadline. I could even take their advice and get a nice duplex in Miami.