Sweet taste of nostalgia from the 70s is back againFor those born in Korea during the 1970s, there is nothing like a piece of dalgona to bring back nostalgia for the days of classic guitars, school jackets with Chinese collars and men’s long shaggy hairdos.
Dalgona was a round, flat sugar candy. Children would squat down and wait eagerly for an old candy vendor to prepare one on the spot.
For children, the brittle mixture of melted sugar and baking soda was like heaven. For their parents it was a nightmare leading to fillings and dental bills.
Whatever its reputation, the candy is back in Seoul, but parents do not need to be scared. Dalgona’s return has taken place in the theater as a musical performance along with props and songs from the 1970s.
“This performance is like the ‘Mamma Mia’ of Korea,” said Min Ji-hye, the marketing promoter at PMC Productions, the company behind the musical. “We used some of the most loved Korean pop oldies to bring back these nostalgic days to the stage.”
The musical begins with Se-u, a producer with an Internet shopping mall, who decides to get rid of his obsolete typewriter through his online site. Seeing the machine, however, brings back memories of his younger days with his first love Ji-hee, who bought him the typewriter.
The scene then changes to the 1970s as Se-u walks into the narrow alleyways of the market. There is plenty of nostalgia on display including classic guitars, old whistle stations, those Chinese collared school jackets and the pig tails that were a fashion icon for high school girls.
This is the third year “Dalgona” has been back on stage and for 2006 it’s bigger and better. Song Seung-hwan, producer of “Nanta,” takes the director’s seat for the first time.
This year’s performance features television actor Park Hyeong-jun as Se-u and pop singer-turned-actress Jo Min-a as his girlfriend. Another familiar face on stage is stand-up comedian Sohn Heong-su, playing the role of a wacky “uncle.”
Musical “Dalgona” is currently showing at Chungmu Art Hall’s Grand Theater until Dec. 25, closed Mondays The theater is located near exit 9 at Sindang station on subway line 6. Tickets cost from 40,000 won ($43) to 50,000 won. For information on showtimes and reservations, call, (02)738-8289
by Lee Min-a