Performing arts scene resorts to star power amid pandemic - Korea Times
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Performing arts scene resorts to star power amid pandemic

Tiffany Young, a member of Girls' Generation, speaks during a press call held at at Daesung D-Cube Arts Center in southwestern Seoul, Tuesday. Korea Times file
Tiffany Young, a member of Girls' Generation, speaks during a press call held at at Daesung D-Cube Arts Center in southwestern Seoul, Tuesday. Korea Times file

By Park Ji-won

The ticket price of "The Ice," a thriller play revolving around the death of a woman which will be performed at Seongnam Arts Center between May 14 and 16, was originally set at 10,000 won ($8.9). But tickets are currently being sold for as much as 250,000 won each in an online ticket resale marketplace.

Fans of actor Kim Sun-ho, who is in the cast and became famous after appearing in KBS's flagship variety show, "Two Days and One Night," have been rushing to buy the tickets. When the play was first showcased at another theater between January and March, the resale ticket price had also gone up to 500,000 won from 60,000 won.

Amid the pandemic, production companies are having a tough time surviving as seats are vacant partly because of social-distancing measures and also because of infection fears. To overcome such tough times, production companies are aggressively hiring stars for the shows, hoping their halo effect will lead to more ticket sales.

Singer Kim Jun-su was again picked as Count Dracula, the lead role for "Dracula: The Musical," which will be showcased from May 18 for the fourth time in Korea. He has been chosen for the role in every season of the adaptation of Bram Stoker's book, since it was introduced to Korea in 2014. Tickets for the musical were sold out in minutes.

Tiffany Young from Girls' Generation is currently performing as Roxy Hart, one of the lead roles in the musical, "Chicago." Casting the K-pop star along with two other musical stars, Ivy and Min Kyung-ah, attracted the media spotlight because it was her first musical appearance in 10 years and also very rare for the production to name three stars to the lead role. Superjunior's Kyuhyun has been performing as Phantom, the lead role in the musical, "Phantom," which hit the stage from March 17. The original musical, "Redbook," which will be showcased between June 8 and Aug. 22, will star K-pop boyband SF9's Inseong, while the lead in "Great Comet" will be performed by K-pop girl band Apink's Jung Eun-ji.

"K-pop stars and actors are very good at singing and dancing. Even though they may not be as skilled as musical actors, they are expected to bring fans to the musical when seats are limited due to social-distancing restrictions. Also, because concerts for popular songs are still not allowed by law, K-pop stars are actively appearing in musicals," an official at a musical production company said.

Park Ji-won jwpark@koreatimes.co.kr


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