Legally Blonde Sparkles With Starry Cast
By Chung Ah-young
The Broadway musical ``Legally Blonde'' has captured the spotlight with its star-studded cast, which includes Lee Honey, Jessica and Kim Ji-woo.
The musical, based on the 2001 movie of the same name, is getting a Korean version for the first time and opens Nov. 14 at the COEX Artium in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul.
The show will be presented by PMC Production, renowned for creating numerous homegrown shows such as ``Nanta,'' ``Jewel in the Palace'' and ``Brothers Were Brave.''
``It's my first musical. I am very happy to work with excellent actors and actresses. I am nervous but I will do my best,'' Jessica, a member of the popular girl group Girls Generation, told reporters at a press conference at the theater, Tuesday.
Jessica will alternate the lead role of Elle Woods with Lee Honey and Kim Ji-woo. Referring to the role, she said, ``I saw the film. So the character is familiar to me. Maybe I can learn something from other veteran actors.''
When she was offered the role by the company, other members of the group welcomed her decision to make her debut in the musical, Jessica said.
As for Lee, the Elle Woods role is a dream come true. ``After watching the musical on DVD, I was captivated by the role and have really wanted to play it. So I learned tap dancing and singing, waiting for the offer,'' said Lee.
The former Miss Korea entered acting through the recent TV drama, ``The Partner,'' and her first musical, was ``Polaroid.''
Renowned as a television actress, Kim has performed in five musicals and has received critical acclaim from critics and fans. ``First I worried how a Broadway musical could be expressed in a Korean version. But the three basic elements ― book, score and choreography ― are in tune with each other. So I am really hopeful for the show,'' she said. ``I am so immersed in stage acting. It has a different charm than television drama,'' she added.
Actor Kim Dong-wook from ``Take-off,''' a recent hit film, will play the role of Emmett Forrest, the male protagonist, with Kim Do-hyun, a musical star. Kim Jong-jin and Jeon Su-gyeong will also join the musical.
``This is the first foreign-licensed musical we are producing,'' Song Seung-hwan, head of the company, said.
``I have long stuck to producing homegrown musicals because I think producing a licensed musical that is already made is not attractive for me. But now, frankly speaking, we need new content to be shown at this theater,'' said Song.
In reference to the star cast, Song said that it is hard to fill an 800-seat theater without the presence of a star. ``But if the star doesn't have the quality for the role, I will not cast her. Jessica has good singing and dancing ability and has an image fit for Elle Woods,'' he said.
The musical will be directed by Jang Yu-jeong, with music by Jang So-young. The two worked together on the musical, ``Brothers Were Brave.''
``This musical has excellent technique and a storyline in harmony with music better than any other musical. Although it's a licensed musical, we have to localize it to Korean tastes,'' the director said.