By Jacob Marx Rice
Berkeley Rep’s production of David Henry Hwang's Chinglish opens tonight! And while the play may be about cross-cultural discord, sound designer Darron L West filled the transitions with a more harmonious cultural exchange. Darron used clips of Chinese pop music, or C-pop, a mashup of western and eastern music that's been around since the 1920s.
C-pop went through tough times under Mao because it was seen as Western, bourgeois, and even pornographic. But as China has opened up, C-pop has exploded. Top songs get tens of millions of hits on YouTube, including songs with awesome Chinglish titles like “Heart had been injured who can love,” “Just lonely lonely,” and “You still owe me a hug.”
Infusing the show with C-pop gives the audience a sense another facet of modern China. The music is a definite change from the American pop we’re used to (it’s in Chinese for one thing), but audiences at Chinglish haven’t seemed to mind. Several have been spotted dancing along during the transitions. After listening to these clips from the show, we think you'll see why.
Also, check out this amazing music video for one of the songs. If a picture is worth a thousand words, we’re pretty sure this video is priceless.