Looney Showtunes

WATCH: Helen Keller Forced To Softshoe In Jaw-Dropping Korean Musical

…And then: this.

Which is worse? A Christian group who spews out vitriolic anti-gay hate, or one that stages this jaw-droppingly terrible, but oh-so-glorious musical about Helen Keller? Show queens, presenting your new favorite thing.

Oh, no — this is not a spoof like shown on South Park. This South Korean musical version of The Miracle Worker is a legitimate attempt to move audiences with the story of triumph over adversity, complete with power ballads, showstoppers, and an 11 o’clock number sung by Helen herself…who can’t speak, remember!

The Broadway version of Carrie‘s got nuttin’ on this!

The lowest, highest point is when Anne Sullivan brings Helen out into the village, where the baker, the fruit seller, the flower girls, Belle, Marian the Librarian, Curly, Laurey and all the townsfolk gleefully encourage the deafblind girl to join their sparkly-toed showstopper. Miss Sullivan pushes horrified Helen upstage center, and, like a delusional Maria von Trapp, physically forces her own personal Eliza Doolittle to Do-Re-Mi and dance for the people. DANCE DANCE, monkey! Anna Leonowens would have impaled herself on the King’s sword if she had had to whistle this cheeseball tune.

How the shockingly silent audience isn’t bursting out in rolling gales of laughter is beyond comprehension.

Worse, the music is brazenly ripped off from other Broadway and off-Broadway shows, with re-written Korean lyrics. The song where Helen learns to dine is stolen from Bat Boy‘s “Show You A Thing Or Two”. Anne Sullivan’s come-to-Jesus moment (6:20, above) is note-for-note the title song from the Broadway musical of Legally Blonde. (Er, Legally Blind?) The big finale in Part 2 below has Helen finally, joyously saying “wah wah” to the tune of Legally Blonde‘s “Take It Like A Man,” originally a comedy song about Elle Woods making over her beau at a fawncy department store. Whoever is the theatrical genius who heard this song and saw an inspirational anthem for Helen deserves a special Tony Award…right up the ass.

We believe this ditty is loosely translated from the Korean as “The Waaain in Waaaain.”

This…thing…was posted by a Christian South Korea-based group called the International Youth Fellowship, which has a shady record of scamming students into attending overseas religious camps under the guise of teaching English. Can one of their students translate the lyrics, por favor?

The greater scam is on the ticket holders for their stage musicals, and on the composers whose copyrights are being infringed.

The curtain’s going up! And please, spare us all dimwitted “Heren Kerrer” jokes. That’s more tasteless than the musical itself.

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  • JH

    All I can think of is the South Park Helen Keller musical episode. Brills!

  • hamoboy

    Maybe it IS a parody…

  • MikeE

    I’m sorry, but “Heren Kerrer” made me laugh!

  • Cam

    The best Camp is when it’s THAT unintentional.

  • ben

    I am fluent in Korean so I watched it all and it is horrible/hilarious how serious these actors are…. The new lyrics are nothing special… you can pretty much guess what they’re saying from what is happening visually. It looks like it’s done at a church so I am pretty sure this is not a professional production. Just a amateur/church production. I am also pretty sure they didn’t pay for the rights to use the songs.

  • wayne

    Is this what Miss Saigon looks like to people who live in Vietnam?

  • Tom

    Ummm…as if this could be worse–the song is actually stolen from the American musical Bat Boy (I’ll Show You a Thing or Two) that was written in the early 2000s…

  • Ilya

    From what I know of the Korean musical theatre community and its productions (which is more than God ever intended any American Musical Theatre Person to know), it actually looks to me like a professional production that was televised. (Korean professionalism manifests in a wide range of quality; some is top drawer, some is like this, some makes this look like Hal Prince at the top of his game.) What I find flabbergasting is how much ripping off is going on … I’m CERTAIN the administrators of William Gibson’s play, which is not in the public domain, have no clue this production is/was staged.

  • w.e.

    I hear this is coming to Broadway in the fall starring Justin Bieber as Helen and featuring Harvey Feirstein as Anne Sullivan. Tony Awards are a sure thing for all!

  • AC

    I really don’t see any problem with this. I do however have a problem with this article’s racist undertones. Are you uncomfortable with Korean actors playing Helen Keller et al? If you think that Helen Keller as a musical is “hilarious” …did you never listen to the album Tommy by The Who? Tommy can you hear me? Tommy can you hear me? Deaf dumb and blind?

    What makes one more valid than the other? In Tommy, the deaf dumb and blind boy sings about the strange world he has been born into – in his mind. How is this different from Helen Keller in a musical singing?

    I don’t really care about “plagiarism” either, http://www.everythingisaremix.info should show you why. If re-appropriating melodies or full songs will share happiness/enjoyment/understanding among more peoples, let it happen. Just because your precious musical’s melodies are being used across oceans in another play shouldn’t even effect you. It’s not your battle to fight.

  • Darren

    @Tom: yes! As soon as I heard the song, I was like: wait a minute! The song is “Show You A Thing Or Two” from Bat Boy – the Musical, which actually rocked.

  • prcm

    the duet ballad is form the title tune in “Legally Blonde” both batboy and legally blonde are larry o’keefe shows. is he behind this, or are they just ripping him off?

  • LeoTard

    Awwww, it’s been taken down. Wonder why?? I hope someone saved it and reposts it, what a treasure!!

  • LL

    I’ll just stick to my K-pop.

Comments are closed.