A scene from the showcase of ‘Dreamgirls’ musical, which will go on stage in Seoul in February.
By Chung Ah-young
Broadway musical ``Dreamgirls,'' better known as the film adaptation starring pop diva Beyonce Knowles as Deena and Jennifer Hudson as Effie, will have its debut in Korea for the first time.
The musical will be a co-production of OD Musical Company head Shin Chun-soo and American producer John F. Breglio.
The Korean version will premiere in February next year with Korean stars, and will later tour other countries with local casts. The new production will be in Boston next fall and on Broadway in 2011, according to OD Musical.
Shin and Breglio are teaming up with the international production of ``Dreamgirls,'' the original of which was first staged on Broadway in 1981, along with other celebrated Broadway creative staff.
For the production, the world-renowned creative team will upgrade the original to include new musical numbers by composer Henry Krieger and lyricst Tom Eyen including ``Listen,'' which was used in the film adaptation ― its script will be revised too.
With much anticipation, the Korean cast, who will play the main roles with their R&B and soulful vocals, were unveiled to the public.
For the role of lead singer Effie, actress Hong Ji-min and Cha Ji-yeon have been selected. ``When I first saw Jennifer Holliday in the video of the original 1981 musical, I was surprised and excited at such an excellent actress. I am very excited and at the same time worried that I can play the role well,'' Hong said.
Actress Jung Seon-a will take the role of Deena played by Beyonce in the film. Jung drew attention in the musical ``Nine.'' ``Beyonce was my role model before I knew her through `Dreamgirls' but I don't want to just imitate her mannerism. I will show my own characteristics and hope to make an impression on the audience,'' Jung said.
Movie actor Kim Seung-woo and actor Oh Man-seok will alternate the role of Curtis played by Eddie Murphy in the film version. For Kim, it is his first time to appear on the musical stage.
``I am not that good at singing but I like singing and listening to songs. And I have wanted to do a musical for sometime. If I fail to perform the role well in the musical, it will leave a big blot on my acting career but I decided to venture for the new challenge because I have coveted the role of Curtis after seeing the film,'' Kim said.
Based upon the show business aspirations and successes of R&B acts such as The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown and others, the musical follows the story of a young female singing trio from Chicago, Illinois called ``The Dreams,'' who become music superstars. ``Dreamgirls'' was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and won six.
The new production will open at the Charlotte Theater in southern Seoul on Feb. 27.