Upcoming musicals for 2019

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Jan 6, 2019 - 17:40
  • Updated : Jan 6, 2019 - 17:40

Wednesday sees the kickoff in Seoul of the musical “The Lion King,” marking the beginning of another year with an array of musicals to entertain local audiences.

The musical will performed in English, as it comes as part of an international tour. The show continues through March 28 at Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul.

It will be held at 8 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends. There are no shows on Mondays or on Feb. 6. 

Ntsepa Pitjeng, who plays the role of Rafiki in “The Lion King,” performs at the top of Lotte World Tower in Songpa-gu, southern Seoul, in this file photo. / (Clip Service)

The musical is 2 1/2 hours long, including a 20-minute intermission, and tickets range from 60,000 won ($53.40) to 170,000 won.

After its Seoul shows have wrapped up, “The Lion King” will move to Busan to inaugurate the new Dream Theater in Nam-gu, Busan, on April 5.

The musical “Hope,” based on the real-life story of a lawsuit over the works Franz Kafka left behind, will be performed at Arko Arts Theater in Jongno, central Seoul, from Wednesday until Jan. 20. Kim Sun-young and Cha Ji-yeon share the role of the titular character, a 70-year-old woman who devoted her life to protecting Kafka’s works.

“Hope” plays at 8 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends, with no performance on Mondays. On Jan. 16, an extra performance will be held at 3 p.m. Tickets range from 55,000 won to 88,000 won, and the show is 100 minutes long.

“Flashdance,” another musical based on a well-known film of the same name, will open at Sejong Center for Performing Arts in Jongno on Jan. 18, continuing until Feb. 17. The musical about the welder-by-day, dancer-by-night was selected as the closing performance for last year’s Daegu International Musical Festival.

It will be performed in English, produced by the West End team and starring Charlotte Gooch and Andy Brown.

The show is 150 minutes long, with a 20-minute intermission, and tickets range from 60,000 won to 150,000 won.

Shows are held at 8 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on weekends.

Other musicals in the first half

Also to be held at the Sejong Center is the musical “Paganini,” a fictional story surrounding Italian musician Niccolo Paganini.

The show kicks off on Feb. 15 and continues through March 31, having just wrapped up its Daejeon run in December.

The show is 140 minutes long with a 20-minute intermission, and tickets range from 30,000 won to 60,000 won.

March will be a time for heroes on the stage in Korea, as “Hero” will commemorate its 10th anniversary with a performance at the Sejong Center from March 9 to April 21. The musical portrays the struggles during the final year of independence fighter An Jung-geun’s life.

The show is 160 minutes long with an intermission, and tickets range from 60,000 won to 140,000 won.

Another legend, this time from Britain, will take the stage in “King Arthur,” a local adaptation of “La Lagende du Roi Arthur,” which premiered in France in 2015. It will open on March 9 at Chungmu Arts Center in Jung-gu, central Seoul, and run until May 26.

Bookings will open online later this month, with more information about the show to become available later.

Another musical about King Arthur legend will also be performed at the Sejong Center from June 14 to Aug. 4 in “Xcalibur,” produced by EMK Musical Company in Korea.

A Korean production team will present its interpretation of the well-known story in its adaptation of “Grease,” set for the D-Cube Arts Center in Guro-gu, southwestern Seoul, from April 4 to Aug. 11.

According to the producers, it will take the form of a “Popsical,” a combination of pop and musical that applies contemporary K-pop into the existing story.

Licensed musicals, old favorites

In June, the international tour of the musical “School of Rock” -- based on the hit Jack Black film of the same name -- will land in Korea for a Seoul tour from June to August at Charlotte Theater in Songpa-gu, southern Seoul, followed by a Busan run at Dream Theater that kicks off in September. 

Steady-sellers like “Mamma Mia!” -- LG Arts Center in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul from mid-July to September -- “Aida” -- Blue Square in Yongsan-gu from Nov. 13 to Feb. 23, 2020 -- and “Rebecca” -- Chungmu Arts Center from Nov. 16 to March 15, 2020 -- will also be staged.

“Ben-hur,” which won the best musical award at the Korea Musical Awards last year, will return to be performed from August to October at Blue Square.

Wrapping up the year will be a local production of the musical “Big Fish,” which opens at the Seoul Arts Center in December and continue until February of next year.

The musical, which originally put on stage in 2013, is based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel, “Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions,” and the 2003 film “Big Fish,” directed by Tim Burton.

It is about the relationship between traveling salesman Edward Bloom and his son Will, who seeks the truth behind his father’s tall tales.

By Yoon Min-sik(minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)