Musical awards winners revealed
A local production of “Wicked” and original Korean musical “Frankenstein the Musical” shared the honor of Musical of the Year at this year’s awards, which are known as Korea’s version of the Tony Awards. The event is hosted by the JoongAng Ilbo, JTBC and the Korean Musical Theater Association.
“Frankenstein” took home nine awards, also receiving Best Korean Original Musical as well as Best Male Actor, Best Rookie Actress, Best Director, Best Production, Best Stage, Best Costume Design and Best Sound Design.
“Frankenstein” is an original musical from Korea based on Mary Shelley’s novel “The Modern Prometheus.” Created with 1 billion won ($976,063), it premiered in March at Chungmu Arts Center. Thanks to the show’s immense popularity, it was extended nine times more. During around two months of “Frankenstein” being staged, about 80,000 people watched the show. In May, its average ticket sales stood at 95 percent, competing shoulder to shoulder with licensed musicals.
Original Korean musicals are often criticized as “not being competitive enough” to draw in audiences among the floods of licensed shows from Broadway and the West End.
The musical “Seopyeonje,” which is also a Korean original, tells the lifelong journey of pansori (traditional narrative singing) singers in the post-1950-53 Korean War era. It took home four awards including Best Leading Actress, which went to prodigy Lee Ja-ram, whose mournful singing received high praise from critics and the public.
K-pop group Mblaq’s G.O., who played the role of Dong-ho, received Rookie Actor of the Year for his part in “Seopyeonje.” The latest production included new musical numbers “Alive” and “My Life is Gone” by Yoon Il-sang, who took home Best Songwriter.