The most popular new musical in 2021 (hosted by Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and CJ ENM/produced by CJ ENM), opened the world's first licensed performance at the Grand Theater of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on the 6th.
The musical is based on the film of the same name directed by Tim Burton (1988). Premiered on Broadway in 2019, the musical has brought a new trend to Broadway with colorful stage sets, magical techniques such as fireworks and levitation, and fantastic visual spectacles such as giant puppets.
The musical opened its first doors in Korea in the Grand Theater of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on July 6th (Tuesday) amid the enthusiastic support and anticipation of the audience. The inaugural performance was more than enough to satisfy the expectations of audiences with its perfect casting lineup and splendid sights. Yoo Jun-sang and Jung Sung-hwa, two actors who played the role of 'Beetlejuice'; Hong Na-hyun and Jang Min-je, newcomers who played the role of 'Lydia'; and a lineup of great actors like Kim Ji-woo, Yuria, Lee Yul, Lee Chang-yong, Kim Yong-su, Shin Young-sook, and Jeon Su-mi riveted the audience’s attention throughout the 150-minute running time with their passion and devotion.
Also, what makes the musical stand out is its constantly shifting stage with sets and props popping up from both sides of the stage, as well as from below and above, around a singular medium called 'home.' In addition, the changes and special effects that happen with a single gesture of Beetlejuice combined with the appearance of giant puppets, including levitating actors, complete an amusement park-like performance captivating the audience.
It is a work full of pleasant laughter throughout, with the witty resourceful lines and lyrics leading to favorable reviews from the audience. While maintaining the ‘taste’ of the original fun element of full of satirical humor, the Korean musical has gone through a continuous translation process to match the sentiments of domestic audiences and created the unique spicy taste of the local . Besides, from the beginning of the performance, the actors speak to the audience without hesitation and communicate with the audience as if in a 'stand-up comedy,' with witty lines that reflect reality on the ground causing laughter in the audience.
Overseas creatives who visited Korea for the world's first licensed performance also expressed their overwhelming feelings after the first performance. Matt Dicarlo in charge of directing the Korean production said, “I am so happy to finally have its premiere in Seoul. It's exhilarating to see Korea's fantastic actors bring the musical to life in front of such an enthusiastic audience,” adding, “We have all worked hard for such magical things. I hope that everyone will enjoy the performance,” expressing his love for the rendition. Music director Kris Kukul and choreographer Connor Gallagher also said that they were deeply moved, saying, "We couldn't help but be excited to see how the Korean audience responded to this piece. The energy of the audience brought our work to life, and it was a thrilling experience.”
Meanwhile, the musical is a work based on the movie of the same name, an early representative work of film director Tim Burton with a unique worldview. It tells the unique story of a ghost couple who become entangled with the ghost 'Beetlejuice' in their pursuit to expel a family who has moved into their newlywed home. In the summer of 2021, the musical , which will give you a visual spectacle that you can't take your eyes off of for even a moment with extraordinary stage imagination, features Yoo Jun-sang, Jung Seong-hwa, Hong Na-hyun, Jang Min-je, Lee Yul, Lee Chang-yong, Kim Ji-woo, Yuria, Kim Yong-su, Shin Young-sook, and Jeon Su-mi. It is staged at the Grand Theater of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts from July 6 to August 8, 2021.