It's no One Night In Bangkok.
Super racist. Infinitely more so because they do such a piss poor job of using anything even remotely Thai. Hell, the female lead appears to be a white woman in a Chinese-style top. The greeting they're doing while donning the stereotypical Asian hat (which some Thais do wear while working outdoors) is anjali... Thais wai, which is totally different. They don't even get the muay Thai correct as nak muay don't wear shoes and they generally don't spin when they throw kicks. The mask is Japanese. Thais almost never eat with chopsticks (they generally eat by shoveling their food into a spoon by using a fork, which is a super great way of eating, actually). Oh, and barely anyone dances on giant chess boards.
The song was banned in Thailand up until very recently. Now every go-go plays it at least once a night. The song mentions the Somerset Maugham suite at the Oriental in Bangkok. I wanted to see how much it was to stay a night and it's over 00 a night. But at least the song itself makes references to things that are actually Thai.
"One Night In Bangkok" confused me my whole life. It turns out the song is about a chess master who's so obsessed with playing chess he hardly knows (and doesn't care) what city he's in and the bored reporter the chess master is talking to who can't stop thinking about the brothels near the chess tournament.
Go back and listen to the song again and see if that changes the meaning.
I've probably heard it a million times at this point. The mention of the brothels, etc is the reason it was banned for so long. The narrator also mentions a couple of things that aren't as scandalous (like the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho) but is, as you mentioned, pretty over it. The chorus is trying to convince him otherwise.
I don't think this musical is so bad, really. This number makes more sense in context, and it's one of the weaker songs anyway.
"...for a musical based around chess."
Had you never heard of this before? Really? It's never lasted long on Broadway and performed in the west end for only 3 years, but at least one song from it plays every five minutes on an 80's station somewhere.
It's like posting "The Last Unicorn" by America and tagging it as "from a movie about unicorns."
|Jet Bin Fever |
This is only one of the worst musicals of the 80s. Don't forget about "The Apple". (On Netflix, fyi)
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