Ryu Jung-han (“Thrill Me”)
By Chung Ah-young
Homegrown blockbuster musical, ``Dancing Shadows'' won five awards at the 13th Korea Musical Awards held at KBS Hall in Seoul Tuesday night, saving face after its commercial flop.
The musical swept five categories _ Best Musical, Best Performance by a Supporting Actor, Best Orchestrations and Best Choreography and Best Ensemble.
The musical is an adaptation of the realist play ``Forest Fire'' by the late Korean playwright Cha Bum-suk. The musical drew public attention as it was directed by Paul Garrington and written by Ariel Dorfman, with about five billion won in production costs. But the musical was not that successful in winning support from musical fans.
The musical featured impressive stage sets, a world-class musical score and flamboyant choreography.
After accepting the award, Park Myung-sung, head of Seensee Musical Company, the production company of ``Dancing Shadows,'' said that the company will donate 50 million won in prize money to the Cha Bum-suk Drama Foundation.
``Our company will make great efforts to provide better performances in return for this award,'' Park said.
For this year's awards, a total of 71 musicals competed against each other _ among them, 50 were homegrown productions.
Actress Kim Sun-young who performed in ``Evita'' and actor Ryu Jung-han of ``Thrill Me'' received Best Performance by a Leading Actor and Actress.
Ryu won full support from the judges for his excellent performance in the difficult character of a homosexual, murder instigator in ``Thrill Me.''
``I think the awards organization gave me this big award because I have continued to act over the last 10 years since I first grabbed the Best Performance by a New Actor 10 years ago here. I will do my best for the coming decade too,'' Ryu said.
Kim is also emerging as a rising actress who vividly revives the role of Eva Peron with her powerful singing ability and charisma in ``Evita.''
This year, new faces dominated the awards. The honor of Best Performance by a New Actor went to actor Kim Do-hyun, who starred in ``Singles.'' Other competitors were Kim Woo-hyung in ``Janggeum, The Great,'' Shin Sung-rok in ``Dancing Shadows,'' Chung Sung-hwa in ``Man of La Mancha'' and Cho Jung-suk in ``First Love.''
``I didn't expect to receive this award because there are many other excellent nominees. I will share this honor with my fans,'' Kim said after receiving the award.
Actress Lee Min-a also grabbed the award for Best Performance by a New Actress for ``Haeurhwa,'' a musical based on a story of a ``gisaeng,'' a Korean traditional female entertainer.
Also, musical heartthrobs Oh Man-seok, and Cho Seung-woo grabbed prizes as Popular Stars, along with actresses Yoon Gong-joo and Oh Na-ra. They were selected by on-line polls.
The awards ceremony held a gala eve show Monday night to showcase the musicals which have been selected by musical fans among the pieces staged over the last 12 years.
Under the theme of ``I Love Musical 2007,'' the evening gala featured hit songs by heroines Sonya and Ryu Jung-han who starred in ``Jekyll and Hyde,'' and Yoon Bok-hee, the unparalleled musical songstress, who performed in ``Jesus Christ Super Star.''
The awards ceremony will be aired on KBS 2 tonight.