21 May 2008
Our friend Piliksu was in town for a couple of days. Following Heng's suggestion, (even though she has yet to see the show), we decided to check out Jump a "Comic Martial Arts Performance." To be honest, I wasn't initially interested in seeing Jump, but it was rainy and cold that evening, so an indoor activity sounded good to me. I'm so glad that we went. It was highly entertaining.
I'm not going to bother to give you a detailed synopsis of the story. You don't go to a "Comic Martial Arts Performance" for the plot line. Essentially, the show is a four act play that centers around a dynamic family of martial artists who welcomes a special guest to their home.
WARNING: The show opened with this really annoying old man character. He was the equivalent of that squirrel in Ice Age who desperately sought an acorn. You'll either find the old man's schtick amusing or incredibly annoying. If you feel the latter, don't worry. The show will get better.
The show has been compared to a sitcom, and I'd agree with that comparison. Based on what I saw on an episode of The Cosby Show (Dr. Huxtable takes Rudy & friends out for a fancy lunch and show), I'd also compare Jump to a long vaudeville act.
As the number of foreign tourists will attest to, you don't need to know any Korean to appreciate the show. The dialogue is very sparse, and when the characters do speak, they usually speak in simple English. The physical comedy is exaggerated and silly, but I have no complaints. The martial arts displayed on the small stage was also very impressive. The characters may be goofy and over top, but these performers are serious athletes.
Though there is a bit of adult humor (The mother character is quite frisky), this show is appropriate and enjoyable for all ages (Except for infants and toddlers. I don't think infants enjoy martial arts comedies unless a Teletubby is involved).
I also enjoyed the interaction with the audience. Pretty Korean girls and white males seated towards the front be warned. You may be pulled on stage. Don't worry though. Your bit is sure to get lots of laughs.
Tickets sell for 40,000 won or 50,000 won. The theater is small, so your seat shouldn't matter. With just 10,000 difference, we decided to go for the front seats.
According to the show's English brochure, you should "[g]o see this show and take all your family and friends too. They will love you forever." That's a pretty lofty promise. I don't know if Jump will solve all your mommy issues, but it is pretty enjoyable, so it's worth a shot.
Be sure to hang on to your ticket stub, so that you can get 20% off tickets for Breakout, an "extreme dance comedy." Oh yeah. I'm so there...
Also, you can stick around after the show for autographs and pictures with the cast. Cyndi & I got a picture with the burglar with the 'fro, who aside from the Mother, was my favorite character.
The IBK Jump Theater is in Jong-no. You can purchase tickets at the theater or call (02) 722-3995 for ticket reservations.
For readers back in the homeland, you can also experience Jump on Broadway.