Sunday, November 23, 2014

NANTA - a Cookin' Show

Want to see a K-Performance show that has music, comedy, and flying cabbage?  
Then NANTA is for you!

I headed downtown to Myeondong last week to the NANTA Theater, located on the 3rd floor of the Unesco Building, just around the corner from the Lotte Department Store.  It's located on a bustling street of neon store fronts, lined with street vendors.

Look for the red square by the entrance to the building.

In the building's lobby, there was this interesting digitized version of the Mona Lisa on display - where the artist inserted bombs and warfare that eventually lead to blooming flowers, 
as a message of healing and rebirth:

I had heard great things about this show and I was not disappointed. The fun began with the written screen instructions before the show (which had us practice applauding, sing Happy Birthday to a random cast member, and likened the upcoming show as "Jackie Chan meets Benihana"). It continued throughout and culminated in an energetic finale on large drums. 

The plot centered around three chefs and the manager's nephew needing to prepare a large wedding menu by 6 o'clock (within one hour!). The cast used real food, real fire, and real knives to orchestrate their rhythmic masterpiece - think "Stomp" set in a kitchen. There was percussive segments, singing, martial arts, and even some full audience participation.  It is a non-verbal show, so anyone can enjoy it, and they incorporate traditional Korean rhythm into the drumming.

The stairs leading up to the theater and the lobby were all decked out with posters and art.

A shot of the opening number of the show - where music of a "long ago time" is made using pots, a tea service, water beneath an upside down bowl, and more.

Christmas has come early to the ROK.

A display of the "instruments".

There's a great little cafe (you can bring beverages into the theater!) and a gift shop in the lobby.  I brought home a NANTA cooking mitt as a souvenir.

While I couldn't take pictures during the show, I did grab a shot of the opening set - set up as a kitchen and with an idol in the corner - the cast prays for a successful service.

NANTA is a toe-tapping, funny, and very enjoyable show.  I had a great time and highly recommend you see it if you get the chance!


  1. awesome! definitely something we want to see while here! thanks for sharing!

    1. I laughed...A LOT. Very funny show - definitely go see it!