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‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ more fun as play than film

The famous 1976 novel “Kiss of the Spider Woman” is to be adapted into a Korean stage show which will be even more fun and intriguing than the 1985 film adaptation, the drama’s director said.
Actors cast in the drama “Kiss of the Spider Woman” pose at a press call in Seoul on Jan. 25. From left are Choi Jae-woong, Jung Sung-hwa, Park Eun-tae and Kim Seung-dae. (Kim Yoon-mi/The Korea Herald)
Actors cast in the drama “Kiss of the Spider Woman” pose at a press call in Seoul on Jan. 25. From left are Choi Jae-woong, Jung Sung-hwa, Park Eun-tae and Kim Seung-dae. (Kim Yoon-mi/The Korea Herald)

Aga Company, one of the producers, said it will stage Argentine author Manuel Puig’s story of a fatal love between two men at the Daehangno Art One Theater. The show to run from Feb. 11 through April 24, will be the seventh of eight productions in the “I Love the Theater” series.

The series aims to boost small theater plays by casting famous actors to help people get more familiar with such theatergoing.

“The novel by Manuel Puig is an old masterpiece but the story itself is very interesting. While adapting it into a play, I could discover more humorous and fun parts than I had felt when I saw the movie when I was young,” said Lee Gi-na, adaptor and director of the drama, at a press call in Seoul.

“I tried to recreate main characters that could be more suitable for Korean actors, mindful of not hurting the original piece at the same time.”

The play requires only a male couple ― Valentin, the leftist revolutionary activist who is imprisoned due to his political activities, and Molina, a homosexual who was jailed for having a sex with a boy.

In a small cell, the two stage a war of nerves as Valentin’s homophobic attitudes clash with Molina’s daydreaming through memories of famous films.

Four actors have been double cast for the roles of the couple. Choi Jae-woong and Jung Sung-hwa are to form one pair, while Kim Seung-dae and Park Eun-tae are the other.
Park Eun-tae (right), who plays Molina, and Kim Seung-dae, who plays Valentin (Aga company)
Park Eun-tae (right), who plays Molina, and Kim Seung-dae, who plays Valentin (Aga company)

“I have some friends who are gay and I tried to imitate them while practicing,” said Jung, who plays Molina. He said he could not fully act out a gay character in a recent TV drama “Personal Taste.”

“Although I’m not pretty at all for a gay role, it will be very pleasing if I could inspire the audience with my homosexual acting,” he said.

There will be quite a bit of a sex in the play but the content will be adjusted “through conversations with the director,” Jung added.

While Jung’s couple is expected to show a mature, deep homosexual love, the other Park and Kim, who are much younger, will stage a more refreshing and new kind of homosexual love, director Lee said.

Park and Kim are musical actors and it is their first to act in a play.

“I will try as hard as I can, not to make this play ‘just gossip,’” Park said.

The play runs at Seoul’s Daehangno Art One Theater from Feb. 11 through April 24 at: 8 p.m. weekdays; 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturdays and holidays; and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets range from 30,000 won to 50,000 won. For details, call (02) 764-8760.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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