The Korea Herald


With youthful story, musical 'Your Lie in April' draws younger audiences

By Park Ga-young

Published : July 8, 2024 - 10:46

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"Your Lie in April" (EMK Musical Company)

“Your Lie in April,” a musical based on Japanese manga series of the same title and an original score by Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn, opened in Seoul last week, winning over younger audiences with the story of a piano prodigy who loses his ability to hear the piano after his mother's death and his experiences after he meets violinist Kaori Miyazono.

The story written by Naoshi Arakawa delves into themes of trauma, healing, and the power of music.

The Korean version, produced by Seoul-based EMK Musical Company, features K-pop idols and TV stars for lead roles of Kosei Arima and Kaori Myazono. For Kosei, Lee Hong-ki from band FT Island, musical actor Yoon So-ho and singer Kim Hee-jae take turn while Lee Bom-sori, Kei from Lovelyz, and Jung Ji-so from the Netflix hit drama “The Glory” portray Kaori. Jung is making her musical debut with this work.

At the press call for "Your Lie in April" held at the Seoul Arts Center on Thursday, Yoon, who plays the role of Kousei, said, "I tried to recall as many memories as possible to relive the emotions from my school days."

"The emotions of a teenager with raging hormones are very different from those of an adult, even when experiencing the same events," the 32-year-old explained. "While acting, I think about how a teenager, especially one who plays music, would deal with trauma and pain."

Kim, who received attention as a child trot singer, said that "Kousei is a piano prodigy who has trauma from being constantly pushed by his mother. I, too, was loved as a child prodigy in trot, but I am trying to draw on memories of times when I wasn't happy to relate to the character."

Lee Bom-sori, who plays the role of Kaori Miyazono, a violin genius who Kousei meets in the show, said that she and other actors taking the same role put a lot of effort to portray a violinist.

“We had individual violin lessons to match the sync, and I practiced a lot by watching videos after buying a violin through a secondhand market."

With a story of teenagers dealing with their trauma and healing process through the power of music, the musical is appealing to people in their 20s, who make up more than 30 percent of ticket sales for the show. In Korea, the largest audience group for musicals are typically people in their 30s and 40s.

The musical premiered in Japan in 2022.

The Korean premiere also coincided with a West End production, both kicking off on June 28. In the UK, it will officially open on 5 July 2024 after a week of preview from June 28 and run through Sept. 28 at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

The Korean version runs through Aug. 25 at the CJ Towol Theater of the Seoul Arts Center.