ENTERTAINMENT

Original Korean musical to open off-Broadway

By Rumy Doo

English-language version of psychological thriller will be performed by US cast

  • Published : Feb 7, 2017 - 15:13
  • Updated : Feb 7, 2017 - 15:13
“Interview: A New Musical” will open in New York City on Friday, becoming the first original Korean musical, written and composed by Korean artists, to be mounted off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clement’s. A preview took place Tuesday.

The show features original music by Huh Soo-hyun and lyrics by Choo Jung-hwa, translated by Bryan Michaels. It premiered at Soo Hyun Jae Theater in Seoul in September last year, later running sold-out shows in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan.

The work’s New York staging is produced by Korean actors Kim Soo-ro and Kim Min-jong; Korean theater director Kim Hyun-jun, who also goes by Dimo; and American actor-producer Matthew Thomas Burda.

Promotional poster for “Interview: A New Musical” (Dimo Kim Musical Theater Factory)

Director Kim made his off-Broadway debut in 2015 during his studies at New York’s City College with “Comfort Women: A New Musical,” dealing with the tragedy of Korean women forced by the Japanese military into sexual slavery during World War II and featuring an all-Asian cast.

A psychological thriller, “Interview” delves into a 10-year-old murder mystery through the format of an interview.

Psychologist Dr. Eugene Harper recruits an apprentice and a seemingly perfect candidate, the intelligent and enthusiastic Matt Sinclair, shows up for an interview, which soon turns into a sinister unraveling of the interviewee’s ulterior motives.

“The twist -- while there are two people in the room, there are seven different personalities to be probed,” the musical’s official website explains. “The intoxicating question of what is real and what is not will quickly drive the audience to the brink of insanity.”

The play draws on the psychology of a legal system that often appears as deranged as the psychopathic villains it pursues, according to reviews.

The off-Broadway production of “Interview” will star Josh Bardier, Adam Dietlein and Erin Kommor. Producer Kim directs the show alongside Kim Jung-han, who also goes by Yossef K and previously directed the play “Q” in Korea.

Korean musicals have made intermittent forays to Broadway in the past, such as 1998’s “The Last Empress” and 2011’s “Hero.” Non-verbal performance “Nanta” and martial arts comedy “Jump” have also had Off-Broadway runs.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)