NT LIVE: CYRANO DE BERGERAC
National Theater of Korea, Daloreum Theater
Oct. 14 - 17: Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play “Cyrano de Bergerac” will premiere in Korea for the first time at the National Theater of Korea. Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the play will be shown in Korea for the first time as NT Live, a broadcasting project of world-class theater. The version being screened is Jamie Lloyd’s starring James McAvoy.
Using Martin Crimp’s adaptation of the screenplay, Lloyd turns the stage into a rap battleground at one point, and then into a powerfully emotive poetry recital session at another, both of which will amaze with the power of words. The play, which premiered at the Playhouse Theatre in London late last year, received high praise from theater critics from renowned papers like The New York Times and The Guardian.
Admission for ages 18 and over.
The play begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Friday.
Tickets cost 20,000 won ($17).
Dongguk University Station, line No. 3, exit 6.
KT&G Sangsangmadang, Daechi Art Hall
Oct. 23 – Jan. 31: The musical “Duet” is returning for the first time in 13 years after it was last performed on home soil in 2007.
Based on the Broadway musical “They’re Playing Our Song,” it depicts a romantic relationship between top composer Vernon and newbie lyric writer Sonia, who is longing for success.
The pair share few things in common, but they happen to write a song together. The musical focuses on the rocky relationship between the two and how they eventually fall for each other.
Musical actor Park Gun-hyung and Park Young-su alternate the role of Vernon while singer-actor J-Min and musical actor Moon Jin-ah are double cast for the role of Sonia.
The musical starts at 8 p.m. from Tuesdays to Fridays; 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekends. There are no shows on Mondays.
Tickets range from 50,000 won to 70,000 won.
Samseong Station, line No. 2, exit 2.
GRAND MINT FESTIVAL 2020
Oct. 24 - 25: The Grand Mint Festival (GMF) is back for its 14th year. Amid music festivals and concerts which heavily feature K-pop boy groups or rock bands, the GMF stages performances from a diverse range of musicians who are not frequently featured on TV. The event has become a major festival for fans who are thirsty for new music.
As a way to tackle the coronavirus, the organizer decreased the number of seats by 50 percent compared to the previous year.
This year, musicians from various genres will take part, including seven-member band Balming Tiger, singer-songwriter Yun Ddan Ddan and rock band Dickpunks.
For more information about the lineup, visit www.mintpaper.co.kr/festival_gmf/ (Korean only).
The festival starts at 10:30 a.m. on both days.
One-day tickets cost 99,000 won and two-day tickets are 158,000 won.
Olympic Park Station, line No. 5, exit 3.
A FATHER’S PATH
National Theater of Korea, Daloreum Theater
Oct. 30 – Nov. 8: The National Changgeuk Company of Korea presents “A Father’s Path,” a traditional Korean opera loosely based on the death of King Danjong (1452-1455). Danjong was one of the doomed kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). He took the throne at the age of 11 but was exiled after a coup staged by his uncle.
Set in the turbulent time of the Joseon Dynasty, the changgeuk (Korean traditional opera) sheds light on Wag Bang-yeon, a government official, who is ordered to deliver poison to King Danjong. Wang, a loyal retainer, doesn’t want to obey the order, but he has no choice but to follow it because his only daughter is about to get married.
Feeling guilty for his actions, Wang decides to take his own life after the marriage. But on the day of the wedding, Wang’s son-in-law is suddenly kidnapped for a political purpose by people who are involved in the coup.
The changgeuk explores paternal love through the story of Wang and his daughter.
The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. It starts at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. There are no shows on Mondays.
Tickets range from 20,000 won to 50,000 won.
Dongguk University Station, line No. 3, exit 6.
Kwanglim Arts Center, BBCH Hall
Through Nov. 1: The original musical “Werther” is making a return to commemorate its 20th anniversary on home soil.
The musical is based on the novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther” written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and revolves around the protagonist and his tragic love story.
The star-studded musical casts five actors for the role of Werther. They include actor Yoo Yeon-seok from recent hit drama series “Hospital Playlist” and singer Kyuhyun from K-pop boy band Super Junior.
For the role of Lotte, Werther's love interest, actor Kim Ye-won from drama series “Welcome to Waikiki 2” (2019) and musical actor Lee Ji-hye are both cast.
The musical starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekends and national holidays. There are no shows on Mondays.
Ticket prices range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won.
Apgujeong Station, line No. 3, exit 4.
Seoul Arts Center, Opera Theater
Nov. 4 – 8: The Korean National Ballet (KNB) presents “Le Corsaire,” which was originally set to take place in June.
The exotic “Le Corsaire” is based on “The Pirates,” an epic poem by Lord Byron.
It is the first time in 15 years for the national ballet troupe to reinterpret “Le Corsaire.”
When the ballet company performed “Le Corsaire” years ago on home soil, it was based on the original choreography by French dancer and choreographer Marius Petipa, but the troupe has added its own flavor this time with choreography by young ballet dancer Song Jung-bin. Song has been presenting works through the KNB Movement Series, which is designed to nurture choreographers within the Korean National Ballet.
“Le Corsaire” depicts the journey of a pirate ship steered by Conrad the captain, in search of his love Medora, who has been captured by slave trader Lankendem.
The ballet performance starts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 3 p.m. on weekends.
Ticket prices will be unveiled later.
Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5.
THE MUSICAL CATS
Through Nov. 8: One of the most well-known musicals across the globe, “Cats,” is making its way back to Korean soil to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its debut.
The original production team, which came to Korea in 2017, will return but with updated props, costumes and more powerful choreography.
“Cats” was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, based on the “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot, and tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles who must make the "Jellicle choice" to decide which of them will ascend to the Heaviside Layer to be reborn.
Details about the cast will be unveiled at a later date.
The musical starts at 8 p.m. during weekdays. Two shows are available at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends and national holidays. There are no shows on Mondays.
Tickets range from 60,000 won to 160,000 won.
Jamsil Station, lines No. 2 and No. 8, exit 3.
DISNEY IN CONCERT: A Dream is a Wish
Sejong Center for the Performing Arts
Nov. 21 - 22: Disney fans should keep their fingers crossed as the popular “Disney in Concert” is planning to be staged as planned in November. The concert, which tours across the world, comes to Seoul twice a year, but its May concert was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, disappointing its young and older fans alike.
Since the concert’s Korean premiere in 2014, the show has been gaining fandom every year. Children attend the concerts dressed in their favorite Disney character’s costumes, making it an annual ritual. For the upcoming concert, Disney classics, “Ariel,” “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Lion King” as well as “Frozen 1” and “Frozen 2” will be performed accompanied by the Ditto Orchestra.
Admission is not allowed for children below 48 months.
The concert starts at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets range from 40,000 won to 120,000 won.
Gwanghwamun Station, line No. 5, exit 8.
D-Cube Arts Center
Through March 14: Based on the 1990 hit romantic fantasy film “Ghost,” the undying love story between Sam and Molly returns to home soil as a musical for the first time in seven years.
Sam is attacked by an unidentified man on his way home one day and eventually dies. But he can’t move to the next world after his death and hovers around Molly. He eventually visits a psychic named Oda Mae to ask for help and endeavors to find ways to reach out to his girlfriend.
The musical version of the story premiered on the West End in 2011 and came to Korea in 2013.
It is directed by British director and playwright Matthew Warchus who won numerous awards with musicals like “The Norman Conquests” and “Matilda the Musical.”
Actor Joo Won and two musical actors, Kim Woo-hyung and Kim Jin-wook, are triple cast for the role of Sam while singer-turned-actor Ivy, and musical actor Park Ji-yeon alternate for the role of Molly.
Two veteran actors, Choi Jung-won and Park Jun-myun, are set to spice up the story by playing the role of Oda Mae.
The musical starts at 8 p.m. during weekdays. Two shows are available at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekends. There are no shows on Mondays.
Tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won.
Sindorim Station, lines No. 1 and 2, exit 1 or 5.
*Most tickets are available at ticket.interpark.com/global or by calling 1544-1555.