School’s out; dwarfs and apes are inWhat child can resist the chance to witness a heel-clicking, foot-stomping, body-jiggling musical?
Freed from school lessons, homework and hysterical teachers on account of their long winter break, children across the country are feasting on 24-hour days of nonstop thrills. This winter, they’re also sinking their teeth into theater geared at their youthful tastes.
Though there are plenty of plays based on all-time classics, a crop of non-conventional performances are also playing on stages nationwide, including adaptations of cartoons. Some of the plays and musicals are topped off with magic shows and a dose of education for an added bonus. Audience participation is another trick: the pint-sized viewers are drawn much closer to the production by actually playing a role in it.
The non-conventional musical “Cubix’s Adventure 2004” takes youngsters to the year 2040, when humans and robots live side by side. More importantly, characters from the famous 3-D cartoon “My Friend Cubix” are featured. The show, which has fared well among young audiences in the United States, Japan and France, is scheduled for Jan. 28 to Feb. 29 at the Sejong Center in downtown Seoul.
Also beloved the world over is Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Though all of the dialogue in this musical version of the popular animation is in Korean, Snow White and her seven companions happen to be Russian actors or circus performers. They employ their talents to good effect, by juggling, plate spinning, rope dancing and even performing a poodle trick or two. This show runs from Jan. 16 to Feb. 8 at the COEX convention center in southern Seoul.
Ever on the lookout for an opportunity to inject their children with a dose of education, some parents are drawn to performances that provide English lessons.
“It’s like catching two rabbits with a stone,” says Kim Hyung-ja, a mother of two elementary-school students. “I’ve been trying to get my children interested in English because it’s very important for their future, and I figure a musical in English is beneficial since it’s entertaining as well as educational.” According to Mrs. Kim, many more mothers have similar thoughts.
“Tarzan: Lord of the Apes” may be just the musical Mrs. Kim and her peers are searching for, though it will run for only two nights starting Jan. 27 at Suwon’s Gyeonggi Province Art Center. Tarzan, Jane and other actors hail from the United States.
Another musical in English is “The Magic Gate,” running from Jan. 8 to Feb. 14 at the SBS Theme Studio within Lotte World in southeast Seoul. After a fairy jumps into a fairy tale book, the audience is led on a journey to a wizard’s lab, witch’s house and a forest of spirits. A magical performance awaits the audience at every turn of the page.
Additional information about all shows can be found at www.ticketlink.co.kr. Also, call (02) 1588-7890 at ticketlink for reservations.
by Lee Ho-jeong