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Three family musicals timed for Christmas

2008/12/12 Source

The holiday season is around the corner, which means a wide selection of "family musicals" are available in town.

Families will want to check out "The Wizard of Oz", which will be staged in its musical version for the first time in Korea this month.

Thanks to its creative stage, catchy music and heartwarming story, the show will hopefully be loved by many people regardless of their age, said Yoo Hee-sung, head of Seoul Metropolitan Musical Theater, which will be staging the musical starting Dec. 17.

"Special effects will be widely used to create a very magic-like atmosphere in the theater", said a spokesperson for SMMT.

For the Korean production, two actresses were selected - child actress Park Do-yeon and musical actress Oh So-yeon, who will each present interpretations of the role. Veteran TV and theater actor Song Yong-tae, the two-time Korea Musical Award winner, will play the cowardly lion.

The novel originally written by British writer Frank Baum in 1900 has been reproduced as movies and musicals throughout the world.

"The Wizard of Oz" will be staged Dec. 17-28 at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul. Tickets are 30,000 won to 50,000 won. For details, call (02) 399-1772.

Another all-time favorite Christmas story, "A Christmas Carol", will be staged from Dec. 20 at Seoul Arts Center in Seoul. The popular show is based on the Charles Dickenson's classic, while its mellow and soft music was created by Czech composer Zdenek Bartak.

Scrooge will be played by experienced musical actor Park Suk-yong, who will be doing the show for the fifth time since 2003.

Noteworthy is the fact the show this time will feature some "saeteomin", or North Korean defectors, in guest appearances. The Seoul Performing Arts Company, which is performing the show, has been funding this project in the past seasons to embrace the socially isolated, since the show is about sharing love and recovering humanity, explained a spokesperson.

"A Christmas Carol" will run through Dec. 30. Tickets are from 30,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 523-0985.

For an older audience, "Fiddler on the Roof" would be a good choice.

The play, running for the third time here since 1985, has drawn attention from the public with the casting of veteran TV and film actor No Joo-hyun. This is Noh's musical debut.

In the musical, Noh plays the role of Tevye, the philosophical milkman living in pre-Revolutionary Russia who strives to preserve his family and Jewish roots and customs, but his wayward daughters won't help.

Well-known musical actors Bang Jin-ee and Shin Sung-rok each star as one of Tevye's daughters and sons-in-law, respectively.

The Broadway show is based on a book by U.S. playwright Joseph Stein that premiered in 1964. Its musical number "Sunrise, Sunset" was a smash-hit.

The show will be staged at the National Theater of Korea through Dec. 27. Tickets run from 30,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 501-7888.

By Koh Young-aah

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