Top-rated actors Cho Seung-woo, left, and Oh Man-sok, right, pose with other cast members in a Korean rendition of ``Hedwig and the Angry Inch.'' Eight Korean Hedwigs and John Cameron Mitchell, original star of Hedwig, will perform together in a concert to be held in Chamsil Gymnasium in southern Seoul on May 27 and 29. / Korea Times file photo
By Chung Ah-young
John Cameron Mitchell, original scriptwriter and actor of ``Hedwig and the Angry Inch,'' an off-Broadway rock musical, is coming to Seoul for joint concerts with Korean Hedwig cast members.
The concerts are designed to celebrate its 200,000 milestone in ticket sales for the Korean production, according to Shownote, a production company for the Korean rendition of the musical.
It will be a rare opportunity to see Mitchell perform here as the American scriptwriter, actor and director has declined to perform anywhere outside the U.S. Composer Stephen Trask of Hedwig will join Michell's first trip to Korea.
The musical has toured in 70 cities around the world, recreating many other different interpretations since the premiere to New York in 1998.
Since its debut in Korea in 2005, the Korean rendition has enjoyed enthusiastic standing ovations from audiences.
For the Seoul concerts, Mitchell and Trask will perform the original musical scores, along with Korean Hedwigs.
Of the total nine Korean Hedwigs, eight of them, including Oh Man-sok, Song Chang-ui, Lee Suk-jun and Cho Jung-sok, along with three Yitzhaks (Hedwig's partner), will sing together at the concerts. Unfortuately, famed actor Cho Seung-woo, who was in the Korean premiere and contributed enormously to the popularity of the show here, will not be among them.
At the concerts, performers will present not only scores from the musical but also other hit numbers of rock stars who gave the inspirations to the musical.
The musical is based on Hedwig, an East German transgendered rock musician, who chases after an ex-lover who plagiarized her songs.
In 1998, Mitchell wrote the script and starred in ``Hedwig and the Angry Inch.'' Mitchell is not only a writer of the muscial and but also the director of the feature film version with the same title as the muscial, performing the role of Hedwig.
Both the play and the film won multiple awards and received highly acclaimed critical reviews, followed by various local renditions around the world.
His musical won the Obie Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award, and was also nominated for the Drama Desk Award. The film version of ``Hedwig'' also won the Best Director's Award, the audiences' Favorite Movie Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and the Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
The musical was first put on stage in 2005 in Korea, and has had 500 showings with the powerful punk rock, hard rock, and heavy metal musical scores taking the hearts of audiences.
Two concerts will be held at Chamsil Gymnasium in southern Seoul on May 27 and 29.
Tickets cost 44,000 to 77,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3485-8700.