Musicals mine old favorites, update them with big-name stars
With the summer break season just around the corner, blockbuster musicals are lined up to entice everyone from fun-seeking vacationers to early Christmas holiday planners. This year, the shows are more star-studded than ever.
“Jack the Ripper”
A scene from “Jack the Ripper” featuring Ahn Jae-wook’s Daniel. (Musical company)
With a story based on the unsolved murder cases in London in 1888, musical “Jack the Ripper” is on its third run in Seoul. It features more than a handful of actors and singers who are popular both on stage and the small screen.
1990s heartthrob actor Ahn Jae-wook, musical and TV actor Eom Gi-jun, singer Lee Ji-hoon and K-pop group Super Junior’s Seong-min play the main character Daniel. Daniel is a hardworking doctor who is driven mad after joining hands with Jack, a serial killer, to save his lover’s life. This is the third time Ahn is taking the lead role since the musical’s premiere here in 2009.
Charismatic actor/singer Shin Seong-woo and musical star Lee Geon-myeong share the role of the serial killer and actor Yu Jun-sang is to play Anderson the detective. The veteran actors’ performances add excitement to the fast developing story.
“Jack the Ripper” runs through Aug. 14 at Chungmu Art Hall’s Grand Theater in Sindang-dong, central Seoul. Tickets cost from 40,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 764-7858~9 or visit www.jacktheripper.co.kr. “Coyote Ugly”
The beloved songs from the movie Coyote Ugly, like “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” or “One Way or Another” can be heard again on stage this time through the Korean musical of the same title.
Though the musical’s setting is the bar Coyote Ugly 10 years since the movie’s success, the storyline is basically the same, starting with young singer-songwriter wannabe April’s arrival to the city. Luna of K-pop group f(x), Hee-young of girl group Gavy NJ and musical actress Yu Ha-na share the role of April.
It runs through Aug. 15 at Kepco Art Center in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 90,000 won. For more information, call 1577-1876 or visit www.coyoteugly.co.kr.
Jin Gu and Ok Ju-hyun from the musical “Guys and Dolls.”(Guys and Dolls)
“Guys and Dolls”
Ok Ju-hyun, the most in-demand musical actress today, selected “Guys and Dolls” the popular romantic comedy musical based in 1929 New York, as her next show. She will be sharing the role of showgirl Adelaide with musical actor Kim Yeong-ju.
Actor Jin Gu known for his impressive acting on both films and TV dramas, and musical actor Lee Yul will act as gambler Nathan. Dancer-turned-actor Lee Yong-woo and the Korea Musical Award’s Best Actor Award-winning actor Kim Mu-yeol will play the handsome playboy Sky.
It will run from Aug. 2 to Sept. 18 at LG Art Center in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2005-0114 or visit www.guysanddolls.co.kr. “Organ in my Memory”
Based on the 1999 Korean movie of the same title which starred actress Jeon Do-yeon, musical “Organ in my Memory” is back for a second run. It is directed by Oh Man-seok, a top musical and TV actor who played Mr. Kang Dong-su, a teacher in a country school who a girl with learning difficulties falls in love with, in the first run in 2008.
Oh cast singer Tim and musical actor Kim Seung-dae to take the title role this time.
It will run from July 16 to Aug. 28 at HOAM Art Hall in Sunhwa-dong, central Seoul. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 60,000 won. For more information, visit www.musical-organ.co.kr. “Zorro”
There are still a few months to go but already creating a buzz is “Zorro.” Top actors Cho Seung-woo, Park Gun-hyung and musical actor Kim Jun-hyun are triple cast for the title role of the musical which kicks off in November. Having premiered in the West End, London, in 2008, the musical tells a dramatic tale of a romantic hero in the 19th century Spain.
The musical will be the first show to run at the musical theater Blue Square which will open by then in Hannam-dong, central Seoul. It runs from Nov. 4 to Jan. 15. For more information, visit www.zorrothemusical.co.kr.
By Park Min-young (firstname.lastname@example.org