The musical “Dreamgirls” won six awards at the 15th Korea Musical Awards held at KBS Hall in Seoul, Monday night. The musical, better known as the Hollywood hit film starring Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson, had its premiere here as a co-production of OD Musical Company head Shin Chun-soo and American producer John F. Breglio. / Korea Times File
By Chung Ah-young
The musical "Dreamgirls" won six awards at the 15th Korea Musical Awards held at KBS Hall in Seoul, Monday night.
The musical won in six categories ― Best Foreign Musical, Best Actress, Best Producer, Best Set Design, Best Stage Technician and Best Orchestrations.
For this year's awards, a total of 58 musicals competed in 18 categories. Among them, 38 were Korean productions.
``Dreamgirls," which opened in February at Charlotte Theater in southern Seoul, was a big commercial success with sold-out performances.
The musical, better known as the Hollywood hit film starring Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson, had its premiere here as a co-production of OD Musical Company head Shin Chun-soo and American producer John F. Breglio.
With such devices as LED panels and glamorous lights, the musical triumphed in upgrading the '80s musical into a modern rendition starring a local cast. Its budget was some 10 billion won.
The show portrays an African-American singing group in the 1960s making its journey from the ghetto to stardom, overcoming obstacles and heartache.
Hong Ji-min grabbed the Best Actress award for her portrayal of Effie. "While I was doing this musical, I cried a lot because it made me feel frustrated as an actress. But through this ordeal, I think I can win this award. This is my first award in my 13-year musical career," she said.
The original version of the musical was first staged on Broadway in 1981. For the new production, the world-renowned creative team upgraded the original to include new musical numbers by composer Henry Krieger and lyricist Tom Eyen, including ``Listen,'' which was used in the film adaptation.
Meanwhile, the Best Musical award went to "Janggeum, The Great," which was produced by PMC Production. PMC is renowned for its production "Nanta."
"Spring Awakening" earned three trophies: Best Ensemble, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
The Korean rendition of "Spring Awakening" shocked Korean audiences with strong language, brief nudity and adult themes.
With a cast of Korean musical stars, the musical is based on Frank Wedekind's controversial German play of the same title, written in 1891, with music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater.
The show deals with such taboo subjects as teenage pregnancy, sexual and physical abuse, and homosexuality.
Musical heartthrob Kim Mu-yeol, who performed the intelligent Melchior in this musical, won the Best Actor prize. "I want to enjoy this big pleasure today. I'd like to share this pleasure with my colleagues," he said.
Cho Jung-seok, who was pitch perfect in his portrayal of the nervous, timid and intense Moritz, was given the Best Supporting Actor prize.
Musical star Hong Kwang-ho ("Jekyll and Hyde") and singer-turned-actress Choi Sung-hee ("200-Pound Beauty") grabbed the Popular Stars awards.
The Korea Musical Awards was launched in March 1995 to increase the competitiveness of local productions.