sebastian_1's Life List
By Lee Yong-sung Staff Reporter
Do you want to see what the future holds for the local musical industry? Then check out Seensee Musical Company’s new production of ``Rent.’’
Opened at Yongang Hall, Seoul, on last Friday, the update of Pucinni’s opera ``La Boheme’’ received enthusiastic applauses from the audiences at the opening night. It was no wonder the groovy and funkymusic of the late Jonathan that led the audience to such stormy delight, but the youthful energy of young and well-rounded cast also made major contribution to it. The sad side to the 1996 premiere’s success was that just a day before, Larson had died of an aortic aneurysm.
Including Kim Se-wu, 28, who plays nerdy amateur film maker Mark andKim Soo-yong, 28, who plays Mark’s HIV positive roommate Roger, allof the actors are in their twenties for the first time in the production’s history. It was this young, energy-packed cast auditioned byrenowned British musical director Stuart Barr, that promptly invigorated the show in a way to make the story of hope, dreams and love among the multi-racial poor young East Village artists true to life (Mr. Barr joined the musical’s production as vocal coach).
Once a beloved television child star, Kim Soo-yong proved once againthat he was ready to make himself a star, this time on the musical stage, even though he has only played narrow band of characters so far. Kim Se-wu who played Mark a few other times in different productions added stability to the musical. His friendly but somewhat geekyvoice was in good harmony with Roger’s soft yet mostly moody voice.
Chung Sun-ah, 20, the youngest of the youngest line-up, who plays sexy and charming but drug-addicted Mimi dazzled the audience with impressive dancing skills and a powerful, well balanced voice. Lee Sang-hyun, in the role of African-American Collins, and Angel, a gay street musician who falls in love with Collins, played by Kim Ho-youngalso did good jobs, even though Angel performed too much as a womaninstead of camping it up as a transvestite.
Benny’s character too, was a little weak. Considering the actor Kwak Dong-wuk’s potential and his unique, masculine charm, he could have been portrayed to be a tougher, more villainous character to spice up the show.
The theater with 400 seats is much smaller than the regular Broadwaytheater, but with this, it seemed to be easier for the actors to getcloser to the audience. What was bothersome though was the sound system, which worked fine in general, but made pretty loud and disturbing noises a couple of times.
Translated by Kim Chul-ri, director and former head of the NationalDrama Company of Korea, smooth, witty and colloquial Korean lyrics were highly effective and appealing.