Joo Ji Hoon and Lee Jun Ki’s New Musical

Actors Moon Jong-won, Yoon Gong-joo, Lee Jun-ki, Son Hyun-jung, Kim Da-hyun, Joo Ji-hoon

Joo Ji Hoon and Lee Jun Ki attended a press conference for their upcoming musical “Voyage of Life.” This is the second military-produced play after 2008’s “Mine”, which starred Kangta and Yang Dong Gun. Lee plays a South Korean soldier Hae Gang, and Joo is the North Korean soldier Jung Min. Naturally, they clash over their ideologies. Rounding out the trio is Kim Da Hyun, who plays Davis, and he offers another perspective to the war. The musical is set in 1950, when the United Nations Allied Forces are forced into retreat by the Chinese military. They aboard the ship ‘Meredith’ along with 14,000 refugees. It is on this ship that Hae Gang and Jung Min meet.

The following is the interview from the press conference. The actors present even sang from the musical during the event. The article noted how musical productions are appearing more frequently, especially since more celebrities are going off to the army. Well – if you have the resources, might as well use them for marketing, eh?

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Moon Geun Young to Star in ‘Closer’

Alongside Uhm Ki Joon, who was the last casting news I heard for this play, Moon Geun Young will appear in the Korean version of the play “Closer.”

She will play Alice, the stripper who finds herself entangled with both men in the plot. The role was previously played by Natalie Portman. By taking on this role, Moon will be shedding the little that is left of her reputation as “Nation’s Little Sister.”

This is crazy….good! I’m sure Moon is going to be successful in this role. She’s almost like Natalie Portman too, who was a child actress but managed from the very start to take on mature roles. But Natalie Portman was/is cute too.

source: asiae

New Pictures from Han Jung Soo

Based on his last interview, Han Jung Soo had said he might be looking into a play for his next project. Now it looks like he’s really doing it.

The play is called “Fool for Love,” written by American playwright Sam Shepard. It takes place in a motel out in the West and follows two on-and-off lovers, who actually turn out to be half-siblings.

If my eyes don’t deceive me, the photos that he put up on his Twitter account look suspiciously like him rehearsing for the play. (Also – the guy on the far left looks eerily like Shin Dong Wook, but I could be wrong.) I haven’t heard any actual news about it, but the above photo looks like a photo shoot, and the other photos are behind the scenes look into the play.

UPDATE: The cast has been revealed to be as such: the female lead will be shared by Kim Hyo Jin and Kim Jung Hwa. The male lead will be shared by Park Gun Hyung (who was the Shin Dong Wook look-alike), Han Jung Soo, and Jo Dong Hyuk. More photos are up on dramabeans.

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Kang Ji Hwan is a Busy Man

As if acting in a drama called Coffee House isn’t enough, Kang Ji Hwan has co-produced and will be starring in an original musical called “Caffeine.” This guy sure likes his coffee.

“Caffeine” is a musical about a female barista and a wine sommelier who fall in love. It had a small run last year and was a success, so it will once again premiere this August in Korea. On top of that, the production will also be performed overseas in Japan from October to November.

Kang has a history with theater, having made his debut through the musicals “Rocky Horror Show” and “Grease.” He is co-producing the Korean version of the musical, and he is starring in the Japanese production. He will begin rehearsals for the show once Coffee House ends.

Quite the busy man – and quite impressive I must say. It’s not easy to co-produce a musical, what more when simultaneously having to act in a drama. My view towards him is slowly changing from indifference to admiration.

source: asiae

An Interview with the Producer of “Goong”

In 2006, Goong made a big splash in the Hallyu wave. Last year there were talks for a musical version.

And then we heard nothing. For a while.

Finally! There is an interview with the producer of the Goong musical from Asiae news. Song Byung Joon is the CEO of a production company known as Group 8. Here it is as follows.

10: What motivated you to produce the musical “Goong”?

Song Byung-joon (Song): I think it is time for a musical version since artist Park So-hee’s original comics “Goong” was made into a drama and introduced throughout Asia. I think “Goong” is the most appropriate story to be made into a musical since it is based on virtual reality where classic meets modern. I was the music director for 1993 hit musical “Save the Last Dance for Me”, which was directed by Hwang In-roi and written by Joo Chan-ok, and I really wanted to make “Goong” into a musical so I took on the challenge of creating another original musical.

10: You have about six months left till the opening day. How is the overall process going?
Song: Writer In Eun-A, who wrote the television series, is in charge of the script and is editing the second draft, and I think we will go into designs by the time the third draft comes out. Production designer Min Eon-ok of the [TV series] “Goong” is in charge of art direction again. Haul, who participated in the original soundtrack [for TV series], is the music director and we have set all the other staff as well.

10: Even dramas “Jewel in the Palace” and “Queen Seon-deok”, which were commercial hits, did not succeed commercially nor artistically when they were made into a musical production. Isn’t there a limit to achieving success in a different genre even when you start with the same story?

Song: Dramas that crossed over genres and were made into musicals weren’t huge successes, but that is actually what makes it appealing. I have the ambition that ‘we could set a good example’ and I am confident. I believe that it will work out well. We are already receiving numerous inquires from all around Asia and tickets have started selling in Japan.

10: In the case of art direction, the drama set such a high standard that you must feel pressured to have to show more than that. Song: You have to take into consideration the various function the stage itself takes on including how it is used for act transitions or symbolization, so it will be hard to expect the ‘goong’ [meaning ‘palace’ in Korean] that you saw from the drama. But Min Eon-ok is an exceptional stage art expert, so I believe she will solve that problem well.10: The drama ran pretty long — 24 episodes. How are you creating the storyline for the musical?
Song: I think the whole musical will run for about two hours with a little more time invested in the first part. The first act will be about how the female lead enters the palace and becomes one with the prince — that is the first half. And the second act starts with their union and builds up on tempo with the conspiracy and conflicts in the latter part. If the first part empathizes on dream, hope and laughter in a charming and fun way, I’m planning to speedily sum up the competition structure, schemes and romantic ups and downs in the latter half.

10: How are the auditions going?
Song: Extremely well. When we did the musical “Save the Last Dance for Me” in 1993, there were outstanding musical actors like Nam Kyung-joo and Choi Jung-won but the pool of musical actors were very shallow, almost barren. But a long time has passed and so many improvements have been made that there are a lot of talented actors now. Many newcomers and existing musical actors are auditioning and I think we’ll be able to select the best characters.

10: The drama “Goong” is very well-known, but I think you need star power of the musical actor for the musical to succeed. Are you considering to hire idol group singers like other musicals?
Song: Many people say that in order to sell tickets for performances in other cities, you need to cast someone famous to get the ticket reserved. Well, idol group singers are fine too. They have the basics skills ready in dancing and singing, and like I used former idol group singer Yoon Eun-hye in the drama, there is no reason not to hire them. But I’m planning to hire an actor based on talent and image, regardless of their fame, who is perfect for the role — just as how I handled the casting for the drama. In that sense, I would pick an idol star if he is perfect for the musical and can work hard for the part, but first I plan on providing a fair opportunity for everyone.

I think it’s interesting that he took some of the staff that made Goong what it was onboard for the musical. It helps because then the style can be kept consistent. I have been curious as to who would star in the lead roles, but if they choose complete unknowns who can fit the character best, then I’m all up for that. After all, Yoon Eun Hye wasn’t a famous actress before this drama (just known as the singer from Baby V.O.X.) and Joo Ji Hoon became famous because of this drama. If anything – he just might make another complete unknown a BIG star.

source: asiae