Sung Min of Super Junior plays young doctor, Daniel, in the musical “Jack the Ripper.” The show, which ended Aug. 25 in Seoul, will open Sept. 16 in Tokyo. / Courtesy of M Musical Company
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Sung Min of Super Junior hastransformed into Daniel, a young doctor who is passionate in his love and job, in the musical “Jack the Ripper.” The show closed curtains in Seoul on Aug. 25 but the Tokyo production opens on Sept. 16.
On the musical stage, the powerful performance as Super Junior member is replaced by his portrayal of subtle feelings of the young and innocent Daniel to underscore his deepest and darkest desires.
Sung Min was one of the first members of Korea’s top boy band to step into the world of musicals by starring in a homegrown show “Akilla” in 2009 and then continued with “Hong Gil-dong” in 2010.
The beginning of his affection for musical theater dates back to his early years.
“I remember my mom taking me to ‘The Sound of Music’ and I bought the soundtrack and listened to it again and again until I memorized all the songs,” he told The Korea Times. He also attends the Musical Department of Myongji University in Seoul, reflecting his true interest in musical theater.
“Jack the Ripper” is a Czech musical written by Ivan Hejna and composed by Vaclav Patejdl. Set in London in 1888, the musical tells the tale of a serial killer in Whitechapel. The story revolves around Anderson, a detective chasing an unidentified serial killer, and Daniel, a young doctor who claims that he knows the identity of the hideous murderer. The Korean production premiered in 2009 and was adapted from the original version for Korean audiences. It has a new set, costume design, choreography and even a new character — a newspaper reporter named Monroe.
Sung Min is reprising the role of Daniel this year. He mentioned the vivid characters and the grandeur of a revolving stage as the noticeable charms of “Jack the Ripper.”
The singer said he saw the show more than 40 times in two years. “When I did not have any appointment, I would come to the theater and see the performance and monitor how the other actors do the show,” he said. Veteran actors Ahn Jae-wook and Um Ki-joon alternated in the role of Daniel with Sung Min and watching them perform taught him a lot.
This is the second time for him to play Daniel in “Jack the Ripper,” following the 2011 production.
Despite the tight schedule, the entertainer tries to enjoy being onstage. “I don’t want the audiences to realize that I am tired. When I am happy, the tiredness does not come out on stage.”
He said the difference between Super Junior’s concert and a musical performance is the flow of feelings. “At concerts, I usually pour out energy and perform by exchanging energy with fans. However, in a musical, I have to retain the delicate sentiments of the character. They are different, but both are attractive to me.”
Sung Min finished the Korean run of the show and is rehearsing for the Japanese tour now. He showed a tinge of pride to be participating in a Korean production touring Japan. “In Korea, people flock to the touring productions of Broadway shows and now we are touring with an original Korean production to Japan. I am so proud,” he said.
He said nothing will change for the Japanese tour, saying “I think it is important to keep it just as the original as we did in Korea. That is why we are touring.”
“And it’s lucky that I don’t have to perform in Japanese,” he added jokingly.
Based on Super Junior’s worldwide popularity, he hopes to tour the world as a musical actor. “I want to give the best performance so that the audience can go home with a more delighted spirit,” Sung Min said.
Musical “Jack the Ripper” will be staged at Aoyama Theater in Tokyo from Sept. 16 to Oct. 8. Tickets cost 9,500 to 16,000 yen. For more information, visit www.jack-the-ripper.jp.