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Things We Saw Today: Sia’s Kung Fu Musical Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise Is a Thing That’s Happening

Plus Zack Snyder, Midsommar, and more!

How’s this for a Mad Libs-inspired sentence: Sia and Kung Fu Panda writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger have collaborated on Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a “futuristic kung fu musical” inspired by Bruce Lee. The kung fu musical (kung fusical?) is currently playing at The Shed in Manhattan Hudson Yard.

The synopsis for the show tells “the story of a secret sect in Flushing, Queens, that possesses the magical power to extend human life, and the twin brother and sister caught in the struggle to control it.” The show is directed by Chen Shi-Zheng (Dark Matter), and if all these elements seem like they don’t quite mesh together well … that’s because they don’t.

Jesse Green of the New York Times described the show as “Usually when I see an awful show I try to understand what happened. What were the authors trying to accomplish? What experience did they mean to impart, what feelings did they hope to arouse? I mean beyond those I scrawled in my notebook during Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, which opened at the Shed on Thursday: experiences like ‘Huh?’ and feelings like ‘Get me out of here.'”

Theatermania called the show “Cirque du Soleil’s Low-Rent Cousin” while /Film’s Caroline Cao called it “This mishmash of creative decisions results in such a half-hearted experiment. If I desired my share of kung fu entertainment in abstracted realms, I should have watched movies like Hero or House of Flying Daggers.”

And here’s the thing: people like Sia, they like martial arts, they like musicals. But some flavors just don’t taste right together. Have you seen Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise? What did you think?

(via /Film, image: YouTube)

  • Here’s a great read on the cult classic black comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous, which is now on Hulu. (via The New Yorker)
  • Here’s a deep dive on all the hidden Easter eggs in Ari Aster’s Midsommar. (via Pajiba)
  • The underrated YouTube series Cobra Kai is getting its own comic book. (via /Film)
  • Sophie Turner is here for Alex Morgan’s World Cup tea drinking shenanigans:
  • Zack Snyder confirms the existence of his cut of Justice League, but says its release is up to Warner Bros. (via ScreenRant)
  • More casting announcements are rolling out for DC Universe’s Stargirl. (via CBR)
  • Is this a prop from Midsommar or a haunted statue of Melania Trump in Slovenia?

How are you spending your holiday weekend, Mary Suevians?

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.