Yoon Do-hyun rocks his feminine side in ‘Hedwig’
Since its inception in 2005, the Korean production of the famed rock musical has been a bona fide success. In 977 performances from 2005 to 2008, it has drawn audiences of more than 300,000. And hundreds of local “Hed heads” say they have seen the show more than 10 times.
The show has also been good for local actors, many of whom, including Oh Man-seok, Cho Seung-woo and Um Ki-joon, have found renewed fame and fans after playing the lead.
“I’ve never seen the musical, although I have seen the film adaptation of it three times. Though I like the music and the message in it, it’s not easy to perform,” Yoon, the new Hedwig, said after a preview for the press in Samseong-dong on Friday.
The musical tells the story of Hansel, a man born in East Berlin who falls in love with a U.S. soldier. In order to marry the soldier and flee to the West, Hansel undergoes a sex-change operation and is reborn as Hedwig. Unfortunately, the operation gets botched, leaving Hedwig with that “angry inch.”
When asked how he felt about playing a transgender person, Yoon, who is well known for his masculine charisma, said that although that was an aspect of his character that was difficult for him to relate to, he did learn “how dreadful it is to feel prejudice.”
“Through this show, I hope to deliver the message that we are all equal and that we can live together in peace as we respect each other’s differences,” he said.
He also commented on the historical significance of the show’s setting.
“The fact that Hedwig is set in East Germany is also meaningful as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall just a few days ago,” Yoon said.
Music director Lee Jun said that the music for this version of the show, the fifth such version for a Korean cast, will be closer than previous versions to the original, which was written by John Cameron Mitchell with music and lyrics by Stephen Trask.
Yoon will share the title role with five actors - Kang Tae-eul, Yoon Hee-seok, Song Yong-jin, Song Chang-eui and Choi Jae-woong - and Yoon’s band, the YB Band, will perform as the Angry Inch band.
The musical will be presented at KT&G Sangsang Art Hall (Samseong Station, line No. 2, exit 2) at 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays; 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Fridays; 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays; and 3 and 6 p.m. on Sundays until Feb. 28. No performances on Mondays. From Dec. 8 to Jan. 3, there will be three Saturday performances, at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. Tickets range from 45,000 to 60,000 won. For reservations, call 1544-1555 or visit http://ticket.interpark.com.
By Park Sun-young [email@example.com]