The musical is a collaboration of two cultures, featuring Will Aronson, American composer, and Hue Park, South Korean lyricist.
By Anna Kim
Winner of 6 Korean musical awards and the Richard Rodgers Award, “Maybe Happy Ending” makes its English debut! The musical directed by Tony-nominated Michael Arden features Kenny Tran as Oliver and Cathy Ang as Claire.
When two outdated helper-bots, Oliver and Claire, encounter each other in a robots-only housing complex on the outskirts of town in the not-too-distant future in Seoul, Korea, they have a surprising connection that challenges what they believe is possible for themselves, relationships, and love in the era of technology-driven isolation.
Oliver the Helperbot3 who appears very human, but his emotional levels and physical movements are a bit less gradated than Claire the Helperbot5, is patiently waiting for his former-owner to come looking for him. Claire, who is capable of slightly more nuanced emotional shadings than the Helperbot3, forswears any kind of long-term relationship after observing at close range the broken emotional bond of the couple that owned her.
Composer Will Arson and Lyricist Hue Park reawaken us to the things that make us human, reminding us “love is never obsolete.” According to BroadwayWorld.com, “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 their story.”
To be specific, the musical probes the never-obsolete conceptions such as longing, fear, hope, and other human emotions through the eyes of two human-like obsolete robots within a setting where technology and change become a way of life. When we realize that all the valuable things that we cherish will disappear in the end, what should we do? Even when we are flung into that dismal situation, should there be a happy ending for us? The audience cannot help but ask themselves with these questions throughout the performance of “Maybe Happy Ending.”
The show was written in both the Korean and English languages. The Korean version premiered at the Dae Myung Culture Factory in Seoul on Dec. 20, 2016. The first English version debut will occur until Feb. 16, on the Coca-Cola Stage of the Alliance Theater in Midtown Atlanta.
Park and Aronson are excited about their debut in the U.S.A with “Maybe Happy Ending.”
“I wrote it with Will in America and the songs were first written in Korean. However, going beyond the barriers of language and culture, this moving human story by the robots makes us reflect the way how we sign up to love someone and we in turn sign up to lose them. We are thrilled about meeting the American audiences who will experience this incredible piece,” said Park during the interview with Korean media outlets on Jan. 16th in Duluth.