|Kangta will play Hedwig in the musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" starting Aug. 16 / Courtesy of Shownote|
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Kangta, a first-generation K-pop star from the now-defunct H.O.T., will wear a blond wig to portray Hedwig, the transgender rocker from East Berlin, in the hit musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," starting Aug. 16.
This is the singer-songwriter's second appearance in a musical, after making his stage debut as photographer Robert Kincaid in "The Bridges of Madison County" in 2018.
Debuting as the lead singer of five-member boy band H.O.T. in 1996, Kangta has been a versatile entertainer as he also acted in Korean and Chinese dramas and worked as a long-time radio DJ.
"Hedwig," written by John Cameron Mitchell and composed by Stephen Trask, revolves around a rock musician from East Germany and his journey to the States, forming a rock'n'roll band named the Angry Inch.
The rock musical, premiered in Korea in 2005, is a steady hit here. It has been performed over 2,150 times across the nation with the record of highest seat occupancy rate and highest number of audiences in total among small- and medium-sized theater shows.
In 2016, it moved to a larger theater Hongik University Daehakro Art Center, after the musical's Broadway run, and renewed direction and set to fit for the bigger scale.
The Korean production received an enthusiastic reception from Taiwanese people when it toured Taipei and Taichung in 2008, attracting over 10,000 audience members.
|Oh Man-seok will reprise his role of Hedwig in the musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" starting Aug. 16 / Courtesy of Shownote|
Kangta will share the titular role with four other actors and each of the cast can imbue their personality and interpretation to the role, as long as it does not harm the original script.
"One of the notable characteristics of 'Hedwig' is that each actor creates one's own Hedwig. Directions will slightly differ depending on the actor playing the role and wig, make-up and costumes are designed exclusively for each performer, making each Hedwig unique," the production company Shownote said.
Oh Man-seok, one of the Korean original cast members of "Hedwig," will make a return, while Jung Moon-sung, who recently starred in drama "Haechi" will reprise his Hedwig after joining the show 2016.
Two new actors will add more diversity to the choices. Jeon Dong-suk, who is more known for his classical voice, will seek for a change in the blond wig of Hedwig after his double role stunt in "Jekyll and Hyde."
Yoon So-ho, 27, is the youngest among the five actors playing Hedwig this year, but he has proven his charm as Marius in "Les Miserables" and Tobias in "Sweeney Todd."