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“La Cage aux Folles”: Award-winning musical star Jung Sung-hwa (“Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Hero: the Musical”) is returning as a gay man in the first Korean run of the 1983 Broadway musical “La Cage aux Folles.” The six-time Tony Award-winning musical pivots around the story of gay couple Georges, who owns a nightclub called “La Cage aux Folles,” and Albin, the star drag queen of his partner’s club. Its plot develops as Jean-Michel, Georges’ son from an affair with a woman some 20 years before, gets engaged. Things get complicated as Jean-Michel wants to bring his fiance Anne and her extremely conservative parents to meet his father Georges and Albin. Jung, who previously starred as a gay character in “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” is returning as the drag queen Albin, while another musical heavyweight, Nam Kyung-ju, stars as his partner Georges. The role of Jean-Michel is being performed by K-pop band 2AM member Lee Chang-min and rising TV actor Lee Min-ho. “La Cage aux Folles” opens July 4 and runs until Sept. 4 at LG Arts Center in Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. The show is restricted to those aged 13 or older. For more information, call 1566-7527.
A scene from musical “La Cage aux Folles” (AGA Company)
A scene from musical “La Cage aux Folles” (AGA Company)

“Bungee-Jump”: “Bungee-Jump,” a musical adaptation of filmmaker Kim Dai-seung’s 2001 unusual romance “Bungee Jumping on Their Own” is to be staged next month. The 2001 film featured the late actress Lee Eun-joo and hallyu heartthrob Lee Byung-hun, and deftly linked the themes of magic and curse of first love, reincarnation and even homosexuality. The show, which tells the story of a man who lost his first love to a car accident back in the 1980s, is directed by Adrian Osmond, who previously orchestrated the Korean production of “Sweeney Todd.” American Broadway composer Will Aronson is taking charge of music. The show promises a one-of-a-kind musical theater experience this summer. “Bungee-Jump” opens on July 14 and runs until Sept. 2 at Blue Square’s Samsung Card Hall in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 80,000 won. For more information, call 1544 1555.

“Gwanghwamun Younga”: Composer Lee Young-hoon, known for working with ballad singer Lee Moon-sae for more than 20 years, will have his dream posthumously fulfilled in the upcoming re-run of the musical “Gwanghwamun Younga.” While battling cancer, Lee put in every effort to complete the synopsis for a musical about a sad love triangle and tell it though the jukebox musical based on his popular songs. He died in February 2008. Although the work initiated in 2004 was uncompleted at the time of his death, Lee’s friends and colleagues, including celebrities and big names in musicals, continued to work on the project. The show premiered in March last year at Sejong Center in central Seoul, and had its second run at LG Art Center in February. Both runs were extremely successful, thanks to Lee’s popular ballad numbers including “Bulgeun Noeul” (Red Sunset) and “Yetsarang” (Old Love). The musical features the story of three young souls who fall into a love triangle in Korea’s politically-turbulent 1980s. The show runs from May 13 to June 3 at Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130,000 won. For tickets and information, visit or call 1544-1555.

“Wicked”: Popular Broadway musical “Wicked” is being performed in Korea for the first time. The musical is based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,” which is a parallel novel of the classic “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” It tells the story of the two witches in the Land of Oz ― green-skinned Elphaba and beautiful Glinda. The upcoming show is an Australian production, with actresses Jemma Rix and Suzie Mathers taking the leading roles. The show is also a part of the Australian team’s first Asian tour, which kicked off in Singapore in December. The show runs May 31-June 30 at Blue Square in Hannam-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 160,000 won. For tickets and information, call 1577-3363.

“Catch Me If You Can”: “Catch Me If You Can,” a successful 2002 U.S. comedy-drama movie is being staged as a musical in Seoul. The plot is based on the real-life story of Frank Abagnale Jr., one of the most famous impostors of modern times. The movie’s Broadway musical adaptation was made in 2011, and its Seoul run features some of the most celebrated Korean musical stars as well as K-pop idols. Musical and TV actor Um Ki-joon shares the role of Abagnale with singer Kim Jeong-hoon, popular boy band Super Junior member Kyuhyun and SHINee member Key. Girls’ Generation member Sunny and singer Dana share the role of Abagnale’s love interest, Brenda. The musical runs at Blue Square’s Samsung Card Hall in Seoul until June 10. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call (02) 764-7857-9 or visit


“Gochang Bokbunja and Watermelon Festival”: Gochang, a major producer of “bokbunja,” Korean wild black raspberry, and watermelon, holds its annual fruit festival from June 22-24 at Seonwoon Mountain Park and Banam village in Gochang, North Jeolla Province. The festival holds fun events themed around bokbunja and watermelon, including bokbunja and watermelon juice drinking contests, running events carrying watermelons, and games to guess the weight of watermelons. It will also hold events featuring other local products including eel and corn. The festival will also feature music concerts on the evening of opening and a parade and roadside concerts throughout the festival. For more information, visit
A foreign visitor tastes bokbunja at the Gochang Bokbunja Festival last year. (Gochang Bokbunja Festival)
A foreign visitor tastes bokbunja at the Gochang Bokbunja Festival last year. (Gochang Bokbunja Festival)

“Jeju Leisure Sports Festival”: The southern resort island of Jeju hosts various leisure competitions during the festival period from June 16 -17. The festival features in-line skating, fishing, triathlon and windsurfing competitions at famous tourists spots and beaches on the island. The 8th in-line skating competition will be held at Topdong Plaza; the 15th national fishing competition at the seawall of the Western Port; the 13th Jeju Triathlon at Leeho-Taewoo Beach and Yongdam coastal driveway; and the 11th National Windsurfing Competition at Samyang Geomeun Sand Beach. For more information, call (064) 710-3343.

“Muju Firefly Festival”: This environmentally friendly festival, now in its 16th year, is a hands-on chance to learn about fireflies. Visitors can observe fireflies up close in their natural habitat as well as learn about them in depth at the Bandi Nara Museum. Other events include trout fishing and rafting in Namdaecheon stream. Visitors can also experience the local culture at the festival as it holds some of the region’s famous traditional performances and craftwork displays. Visitors who wish to observe fireflies in their habitat are recommended to make an online reservation in advance at The admission fee for observation is 5,000 won for adults and 3,000 won for children. For more information, visit


“Reserved Moonlight”: Gana Art Gallery presents Park Yung-nam’s solo exhibition from June 7 to July 1 at the gallery in Pyeongchang-dong, Seoul.
Park, known for his abstract finger paintings, showcases 50 paintings under the title “Reserved Moonlight” which reflects the inner peace and purity the artist admires in nature. Park features geometrical forms such as squares, straight and diagonal lines to portray landscapes in the painting series “Landscape against Blue Sky.” For more information, call (02) 720-1020. 
“Landscape against Blue Sky” by Park Yung-nam (Gana Art Gallery)
“Landscape against Blue Sky” by Park Yung-nam (Gana Art Gallery)

“Personages”: Kukje Gallery presents sculptures of Louise Bourgeois, a renowned French-American sculptor who died in 2010 at the age of 99. The exhibition features the artist’s early works created from 1940s to 1950s and is divided into two distinct groups. One group has simple sculptures made from a single wood block and the other group has more structurally complex works. The exhibition runs through June 29 at the Kukje Gallery in Samcheong-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (02) 735-8449 or visit

“Marc Riboud Retrospective Photo Exhibition”: Seoul Arts Center presents the well-known works of French photographer Marc Riboud, who gained fame after his “Eiffel Tower Painter” was printed in Life magazine. The exhibition will feature the 89-year-old artist’s masterpieces reflecting the social dynamics in 1950s and ‘60s. Some of his major works are “Girl with a Flower,” one of the world’s most symbolic anti-war photographs taken during the Vietnam War protests in 1967, and “Eiffel Tower Painter,” which depicts a painter perched between metal structures of the tower posing like a dancer in 1953. The exhibition runs until Aug. 5 at Hangaram Design Museum of the Seoul Arts Center in Seoul. Opening hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and it is closed on May 28, June 25 and July 30. The admission fee is 12,000 won for adults, 10,000 won for teenagers aged 13-18 and 8,000 won for children 712. Special discount will be offered for groups with 20 or more people. For more information, call (02) 532-4407 or visit

“Love Fever”: The world’s renowned pop artist Romero Britto presents his love themed sculptures, paintings and Giclee prints, all brought from his Miami studio at Lotte Gallery till May 28 and Lotte Avenuel till July 1.
Praised as the pop art heir after Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, Britto has created his own style using vibrant colors, pop imagery and playful themes. The exhibition features the 2.5 meter long heart-shaped sculpture that is displayed on the first floor of Lotte Avenuel, Lotte Department Store’s prestigious section. Some 20 to 30 other works will go on public display at the inside of Lotte Gallery, located on the 12th floor of the department store. The exhibition runs through May 28 at Lotte Gallery and through July 1 at Lotte Avenuel. For more information, call (02) 726-4428.


“Compagnie Kafig”: Well-known French urban dance company Compagnie Kafig returns to Korea for the first time in six years with its latest productions “Agwa” and “Correria” on June 2-3 at the LG Arts Center in Seoul. Inspired by the special encounter between Algerian-French choreographer Mourad Merzouki and 11 self-taught Brazilian dancers, the two upcoming productions are a mix of French choreography and Brazilian passion. Compagnie Kafig will also perform at Gyeongnam Culture and Arts Center in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, on May 30 and at Busan Cinema Center on June 5. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. The performance runs for 80 minutes with a 20-minute intermission. For more information, call (02) 2005-0114 or visit

“The Lady of the Camellias”: Renowned South Korean ballerina Kang Su-jin, a principal dancer in Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet, and her dance company will showcase in Korea with “The Lady of the Camelias” from June 16-17 at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul. The ballet, based on Alexandre Dumas’ novel, is choreographed by John Neumeier and features music by Chopin. Ticket sales opened on March 15. Tickets range in price from 50,000 won to 250,000 won. For more information, call 1577-5266 or visit

"Korea World Dance Stars Festival 2012": A number of Korean dancers active on U.S. and European stages will come together to perform not only classics, but their latest creations at the Korea World Dance Stars Festival 2012. The four-day festival kicks off at Theater Yong of the National Museum of Korea in Seoul on June 28-29, at Inje Cultural Complex in Gangwon Province on June 30 and Yeoncheon Sureul Art Hall in Gyeonggi Province.
The annual festival features Jun Eun-sun, now a soloist with the Royal Swedish Ballet; Cho Soo-youn, principal dancer for the Tulsa Ballet in the United States; Lee Sang-eun of Dresden Semperoper Ballet in Germany; and ballerina Chae Ji-young of the Washington Ballet in the U.S. Tickets for the festival range in price from 30,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3674-2210 or visit
Cho Soo-youn (right), principal dancer for the Tulsa Ballet in the United States (IPAP)
Cho Soo-youn (right), principal dancer for the Tulsa Ballet in the United States (IPAP)

"Giselle by American Ballet Theater": The American Ballet Theater, one of the prestigious ballet companies in the world, will stage one of its representative works "Giselle" at the Seoul Arts Center on July 18-22. The ballet troupe will feature a Korean ballerina Seo Hee as its title role. Seo, now an ABT member, made her Metropolitan Opera House debut in “Romeo and Juliet” in 2009, impressing the audience with her excellent technique as well as her delicate portrayal of the role. Tickets range from 16,500 won to 400,000 won. For more information, call (02) 598-3119 or visit

Classical Music

"Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra": Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra led by maestro Paavo Jarvi will come to Seoul to perform on June 10-11 at Seongnam Art Center in Gyeonggi Province and Seoul Arts Center in Seoul. The orchestra will collaborate with violinist Hilary Hahn on Mendelssohn’s violin concerto. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 220,000 won. For more information, visit
Hillary Hahn (Peter Miller/Vincero)
Hillary Hahn (Peter Miller/Vincero)

“I Musici”: I Musici nicknamed “the legend of chamber music,” will travel to major cities in Korea starting with Seoul on June 15 at Seoul Arts Center, followed by Uijeongbu Art Center in Gyeonggi Province on June 16, Daegu Suseong Artpia on June 17 and Gyeongnam Culture and Art Center in South Gyeongsang Province on June 19. The orchestra also performs at Anyang Art Center on June 21 and at Sori Arts Center in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, on June 23. It will collaborate with Kim Se-hwang, guitarist for Korean rock group N.EX.T, in its performance of Bacalov’s Concerto Grosso for I Musici’s 60th Anniversary. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won. For more information, call (02) 6249-4500 or visit

“Le Concert Spirituel”: Le Concert Spirituel, a French chamber orchestra known for its performance of Baroque music comes to Korea for the first time in June. The ensemble will perform at Daejeon Art Center on June 3 and at LG Arts Center in Seoul on June 5. In its performance titled “Splendor of the Cathedrals under Louis XIV: A musical voyage from Paris to Strasbourg,” the French orchestra will explore the sacred repertoires of three masters: M. Charpentier, P. Bouteiller and S. Brossard. The ensemble will collaborate with a 12 member all-male choir. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. Call (02) 2005-0114 or visit for more information.

“Salon Concert Namsan”: A small concert for gugak or traditional Korean music is currently being held every Monday and Tuesday evening at Seoul Namsan Traditional Theater near Mount Nam, Seoul. It runs through July 31. Featuring the country’s famous gugak musicians, the concert takes place in a hanok room, a part of the theater that fits only 20 audience members. The concert is a reenactment of Joseon’s pungnyu culture or the cultural events appreciated by Joseon’s high society. The audience will get the chance to talk to gugak musicians while drinking tea after the concert. Tickets are 50,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2261-0511~2 or visit

Pop Music

“2012 Latin American Cultural Festival”: A series of exhibitions, concerts, performances and lectures on Latin America and its culture will be presented at the 2012 Latin American Cultural Festival being held in various venues in Seoul. A photo exhibition titled “Photograph and Identity: A View from Latin America and the Caribbean,” kicked off the festival last week at KF’s gallery on the second floor of Center One Building in Euljiro, Seoul. Various performances and concerts by Korean and Latin American artists invite the audience to the world of passionate, rhythmical Latin music and dance from May 26 to June 3. All programs are free. The festival runs through June 9. For more information, visit or call Latin American Cultural Festival Operation Office at (070) 8230-1201 or Culture and Arts Dept. of Korea Foundation at (02) 2151-6520.
Jamaican Reggae group C Sharp (Korea Foundation)
Jamaican Reggae group C Sharp (Korea Foundation)

"Rainbow Island Music and Camping": The Rainbow Island Music and Camping festival on Nami Island from June 9-10. Headlining are American singer-songwriters Jason Mraz and Christina Perri. Other bands performing are Busker Busker, IDIOTAPE, The Koxx, Kingston Rudieska, Yellow Monster, Ego-wrappin’, Oh! Brothers, Tattles, Standing Egg, The Weekend, and many others. Tickets are 165,000 won for two days, 110,000 won for Saturday and 88,000 won for Sunday. They include round-trip boat fare to the island. Tent packages are also available for rent with a two-person package for 55,000 won and a three to five-person package for 77,000 won. Fore more information, visit

"Guro Indie Rock Festival": The Guro Indie Rock Festival kicks off July 5-7 at the Guro Arts Valley near Daerim Station on Subway Line No. 2 and invites numerous groups particularly those who are based in Hongdae. Weekday tickets are 15,000 won for second floor seats and 30,000 won for first floor seats, with prices going up to 20,000 won and 35,000 won on the weekend. The shows kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Some of the bands gracing the stage this year are BigBaby Drive, The Moonshiners, Galaxy Express, Micro Kid, Baek Hyun-jin, Kim Mok-in and Lee Young-hoon. For more information or to reserve tickets in advance, go to the art center’s website at

"Jisan Valley Rock Festival": The annual Jisan Valley Rock Festival kicks off July 27-29 at Jisan Valley Ski Resort south of Seoul. It has already announced its headliners Radiohead and the Stone Roses. Also planning to take to the stage are Beady Eye, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, James Blake, Nell, Apollo18, the Black Skirts and Hollow Jan. Tickets run at 250,000 won for a 3-day pass and 150,000 won for a 1-day pass at the gate. Starting May 30, there will be 1,000 one-day tickets available for 130,000 won. Official internet booking starts on June 5 and three-day tickets are 225,000 won while one-day tickets are 140,000 won. For more information, visit or call 1566-2226 or 1577-3363.

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Korea Herald daum