Sunday, 24 May 2009

Korean dance comedy Break Out delivers comedic gold

K-popped! reviews Break Out - a (five out of five) non-verbal Korean comedy that showcases the hottest B-Boy moves, martial arts and slapstick humour.

Watch out folks, if Korean extreme dance comedy Break Out is in town, you’re in for an hour plus of hilarious fun. This laugh-until-your-sides-hurt comedy tells the story of 5 inmates who break out of prison. We then follow them on the run, which is peppered with side-splitting slapstick humour.

Get ready: Brace yourself for a rockin' show

The situation is spiced up when a mysterious sacred text falls from the sky. This ancient book magically bestows those around it the ability to snap, crackle, pop and lock. Yup, those who come in contact with it turn into lean, mean dancing machines…and more.

Shady characters

At the heart of the story are Gray – an old man who can be swift and agile when he wants to, Lump – a brawny fella who is the de facto leader of the group, Joker – a clumsy bloke with a heart of gold, Tricky – a slightly perverted character who has a butt fetish and Dandy - a ladies’ man who loves showing off his six packs (you won’t hear me complaining about that ;-)).

Morning exercises: The inmates and warden go through a
very funny exercise routine

Touchy-feely: Tricky (inmate, middle) tries to cop a
feel of a friend's butt

Lending “support” to the jail breakers are Gundog – the warden who gives the boys a helluva time, Swat – a Special Forces officer who hunts the boys down and the Beautiful Women – chameleons who are saucy minxes one minute and innocent nuns the next.

Beyond the prison wall: The inmates dream of freedom.
Left to right: Joker, Lump (standing on the roof of the car),
Tricky, Dandy and Gray.

The beach: The guys want nothing but a day at the beach

What the prisoners seek is freedom – specifically, a day at the beach. And so begins their struggle to break out of prison. The quintet’s mirthful adventure is complemented by some amazing dancing, beat-boxing and fall-out-your-seat-laughing antics.

Yes, Break Out is comedic gold, baby. Comedic gold.

Bustin’ out

While the show is uproariously funny, the part that left me in tears was when the prisoners made their escape through the “underground tunnels”.

The concept was genius. The actors strapped on doll-like bodies to their heads and “crawled” through the tunnels in their Mini-Me versions. Man, that was beyond entertaining.

The Great Escape: The Mini-Me version of the inmates "crawl"
through the tunnels

Hard work: It's tough squeezing through the tiny tunnels

On the run: It gets dangerous in tight spots

The actors themselves were buzzin’ with energy and were oh-so impressive during the dancing and beat-boxing sequences. The vigour and power in the actors/dancers performance kept the audience riveted…and asking for more. Watching them, you’d be wishing they’d ease off a little (just a little) least they hurt themselves!

Apart from that, another genius idea was the revolving centrepiece background, which provided different premises to the story in an instant. The background, which flips over like a giant book, took the audience and protagonists to a hospital, the underground tunnels, a church, and even the beach.

Window of opportunity?: Lump holds the sacred text
while on the run

In sync: The slapstick humour rocks! The guys get into a whole
lot of trouble at the hospital

Lovable prison escapees

The audience will be drawn in by the lovable characters as the amusing story unfolds. It also helps tremendously that the show involves the audience. For instance, an audience member is chosen to be a “hostage” in one act, while another is used as a “decoy” in another scene.

Bomb alert: The SWAT team rescues a "hostage" by dismantling
a bomb (strapped to a member of the audience - far right)

On the loose: The escapees run among the audience
as they dodge the authorities

Yes, as the prisoners fumble among the audience during their Great Escape, we can do nothing but love and root for the quirky quintet.

Thus, when the time came for their final hurrah, it was an extremely grand moment where each character launched into his solo routine with tons of style, panache and oomph.

The end: The cast takes a bow

And when the audience called for an encore, the performers obliged with a mean beat-boxing routine by Lump and Swat, and a dance sequence by the entire cast.

Beat-boxing: Lump (left) and Swat give their all
during the encore

Final bow: The cast finally says goodbye to the audience

You know, whatever hype you’re hearing about Break Out – believe it, it’s that awesome! I’ve watched Nanta in Seoul last year, and while Nanta was simply fabulous, I think I laughed harder while watching this one.

The not-so good

The Level 2 hall at Wisma MCA wasn’t a suitable venue for the show. You won’t get a good view of the stage if someone tall is sitting in front of you because the chairs were arranged on a level surface. I think Orchid spent the entire show craning her neck because a dude’s (big) head was blocking her view. Poor girl.

The good news was we got to move a little closer to the stage because the premiere wasn’t a sold out show. Minor kinks aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Break Out and would again, highly recommend it to you.

The Break Out team will be in Penang on May 27 & 28. Yo, K-popped! friends up north…try not to miss it, ya hear?

Poppin’ and rockin’ cast

If my memory serves me correctly, below are the cast for the first Break Out show held in Malaysia. There are many Break Out teams, so I hope I identified the actors correctly :-P.

All pictures are taken from the Break Out official website.

L-R: Scale-T/Jeong Jong-wook (Dandy), Mine/An Yong-chan (Joker)
and Naturalman/Pyun Ki-bum (Tricky)

Beautiful women, L-R: Jiny/Kim Jin-hee, Jjang-Jji/Jang Ji-hee
and Ssun/Son Suna

L-R: Donald Hong/Park Jae-hong (Gundog), Tigger/Son Hyuk (Gray),
Yongnam/Kim Yong-nam (Lump) and ZZZ/No Seung-min (Swat)

To the talents above, thank you for the very entertaining afternoon. 정말 감사합니다. 사랑해요!

Break Out is unleashed in Malaysia

Other K-productions we've watched:
Catching B-boyz and Ballerina at the Esplanade
Nanta cooks up a storm for the K-popped! Trio


Wawa said...

i went to their final show in kl last night!!! yeah~~~ i had so much fun!!!
the 'Mini-Me' was totally genius! All the audience really laughed during that part... i think 1 hour 15 minutes wasn't enough!!! i was really craving for more~~~

the dance, Korean B-Boy are the best!!! my mom (yeah, i bring along my mom), totally impressed with the dance! me??? A++... hahaha!!!

yeah, i think Wisma MCA was not a good venue! a petite person like me has a hard time to watch it peacefully! my cousin, who has a good view before the show started, suddenly changed when a 'big' guy took the seat in front of her... and she suddenly, ALAAAAA~~~ DAH TAK NAMPAK!!! lol... she said it loudly til the guy heard and said sorry!

thatks to Break Out's team for bringing us Malaysian something superb and enjoyable!!!

sasjo said...

A totally awesome show! Too bad I didn't win the LCD TV, otherwise I'd have shown my own pop-and-lock moves on stage... stop laughing! :P

Liz said...

Hi Wawa, thanks for sharing your experience! Yeah, the show was simply fabulous, wasn't it?

Too bad about the venue though. Your poor cousin -- having her view blocked. Nonetheless, the show was just too funny to not enjoy the whole experience.

And to sasjo, you? Popping and locking on stage? Bwah ha ha ha ha....

amy_meteorgdn said...

It was a blast happening show!
Waited and managed took pics n vids with them.. really nice guys!
Suddenly remembered you guys when reached home.. should have meet you guys.. K-Popped Sisters!

Liz said...

Hi Amy, you were there for the first show too? Kewl...and you managed to get pictures with the actors! That's awesome :-).

Anonymous said...

@amy_meteorgdn, u managed to take pic with them? wah...i'm so jealous..i was there at their 1st show but i didn't wait...i never thought they will come out for a photo :(

amy_meteorgdn said...

Annyeong Liz, teruterubozu13,
Yup.. I watched the 1st show.. also watched the preview on Thur @ Korean event @ Renaissance Hotel.

Even saw the crew walking here n there on the street nearby Citibank before they started the show..

At 1st we talked to the Organizer to let us meet them but they declined.
Then, we asked if they can take our camera n asked them to snap pics of them, also they declined.

So we just waited there (haha.. actually we were waiting erm.. hunting for a meosissta Hanguk namja there).. and we are so lucky just out of nowhere the crews came out from the backstage *_*

Liz said...

Ah, I see. I guess good things come to those who wait then? :-P. Good for you, all your effort in waiting paid off.

amy_meteorgdn said...

Hehehe *_*

audrey said...

tho it's late..but stil better than never rite rite...I HEART BREAKOUT!!!! just saw the PG show yesterday!!! it was even funnier that expected!!! simple enjoyed myself laffing n clapping..

kudos to the ppl that brought them here...the cast..every1 that make the show happen..

my fav is r urs?

Orchid said...

@audrey, it's never too late to add in a comment. :-)

My fave is Lump (the tall one who does beatboxing!)

I also like Tricky because he does awesome pop & locking!

Liz said...

@audrey: Yay, you watched the show too? Kewl!

My fave is Lump too *shoves Orchid away* :-P and Joker comes in a close second because he's hilarious!

Tricky looks too sleazy for me, but yes I agree, he does awesome pop & lock-ing! :-)


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