Korean production company Group 8 unveiled the official poster for musical “Goong” on the musical’s official website today.
The poster shows actors (from left) RUN, U-Know Yunho and Kim Dong-ho, who will play the leading role of crown prince Lee Shin, with actress Gwak Sun-young in one version of the poster and Shin Eui-jung in the other version for the role of the tomboyish Chae-kyeong.
“Goong” is a story about an average high-school girl marrying a royal prince in 21st century Korea, which is in fiction a monarchical country.
Originally based on a best-selling comic series, “Goong” was adapted for the small screen in 2006 which also became a huge hit and turned its two lead actors, Yoon Eun-hye and Joo Ji-hoon, into household names.
Ticket for the musical will go on sale on Thursday and premiere on September 8 at the National Museum of Korea.
The first Korean production of the musical “Miss Saigon” was a hit when it premiered in 2006 with more than 85 percent of seats sold. Confident that the show could repeat its successful run, another Korean production of the musical was staged here earlier this year. This time, however, ticket sales were at only 55 percent.
“The Phantom of the Opera” was one of the best-selling musicals here until May, but sales are less than stellar these days.
Korean productions of hit musicals have drawn audiences and re-shaped the landscape of the theater scene in recent years. But the industry that has proven so lucrative for the industry as a whole is experiencing a shift toward a new phenomena that critics say could change things – for better or for worse. While theater critics say recent productions are higher in quality than in the past, sluggish ticket sales in recent months have led the industry to refer to its current situation as musical theater’s “ice age.”
In the midst of the public’s indifference, the only performances that have been able to attract audiences are the ones that have members of Korea’s idol groups as part of their casts.
The musical “Mozart,” which stars Xiah Jun-su, a member of the disbanded group TVXQ, recorded average ticket sales of 99 percent when he was in the role. That figure dropped to just 74 percent when another actor was in the leading role. Similarly, the Korean production of “Legally Blonde” had its own idol star in Girls’ Generation member Jessica. Ticket sales surged to 90 percent when Jessica, who rotated the role with two other actresses, was on the boards, but plummeted to just 70 percent when she was not.
The most recent example of this phenomenon is the production of “Midnight Sun,” which also featured a member of Girls’ Generation, Taeyeon. Sales soared to a whopping 98 percent when she was on stage but fell to 78 percent when someone else was in the role.
“The Korean public tends to be stingy when it comes to paying their own money for cultural events,” pop culture critic Sung Gi-wan said. “The only ones who are willing to do that are fans who want to watch their favorite stars.”
The current trend is not the result of bad acting or a dearth of good musicals, critics say. Instead, it appears to be the simple fact that casting popular singers attracts fans and publicity. “A Chorus Line,” which opened last weekend, has Jung-ah, a member of girl group After School, and Soo-hyun, a member of U-Kiss, in the cast. The producers revealed that they did not want to cast celebrities because of their busy schedules but investors refused to support the production if the stars were not part of it.
“The public is sick of the surge of large-scale musicals from overseas that have arrived since 2001,” theater critic Cho Yong-sin said. “Musicals in the U.S. were also reliant on Hollywood stars until well-crafted musicals were made. If we can create pieces that are moving as well as original, we may be able to remove the idols from the stage.”
By Choi Min-woo [email@example.com]
Hero Jaejoong is said to be in shock after hearing about the suicide of actor Park Yong-ha.
Multiple media sources reported that TVXQ member Hero Jaejoong, who is currently in the United States, was in distress since he had talked on the phone with Park just the day before his death.
“Jaejoong and Park had a special relationship — something beyond the typical friendship. We know that they had a telephone conversation on June 29th,” a source close to Hero Jaejoong said, although adding he was not sure what they talked about.
Jaejoong, currently in the United States to work on his new global album, will be unable to visit the hospital in time.
Park was found hanging himself from the cord of his camcorder charger at 5:30 a.m. in his house. His body has been placed at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital.
Three members of boy band TVXQ, namely Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu, have filed a lawsuit worth three billion won, equivalent to nearly 2.5 million dollars, against major talenthouse SM Entertainment.
According to the Seoul Central District Court on Monday, the three singers brought suit against SM, demanding that they be confirmed their 13-year exclusive contract with the agency had been nullified, along with one billion won each, part of their share of profits they claim to have failed to receive.
The three had applied for provisional disposition of their contract with SM last July, saying it was too long and unfair, to which the court ruled in partial favor of, stating that SM cannot interfere with their individual activities.
This led to a halt of their activities as a five-man band in Korea and a few months later in Japan. The three then formed a separate group, signing with Japanese agency AVEX, through which they declared they would pursue their singing careers.
After giving a series of sold-out concerts in Japan just two weeks ago which they held to “express gratitude to fans,” the new trio have been gearing up for their debut which is set to be produced by prominent U.S. musicians Kanye West and Timbaland.
Meanwhile, SM too had sued the three singers in mid-April in a suit worth 2.2 billion won for the damages the agency and the remaining two members, U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin, have suffered from the legal battle.
Since their 2004 debut, TVXQ, discovered and managed by SM, had arguably been one of the most successful K-pop acts in Asia with reportedly the largest fanbase in the world.
Enjoying great success in the Japanese music industry in particular, they became the first foreign artist to top the Oricon singles charts six times and placed their single and album simultaneously within the top three slots of Oricon’s singles and albums chart, the first time for a foreign artist to do so in 15 years.
The newly-released DVDs for MBC TV series “No Limit,” starring TVXQ leader U-Know Yunho, is selling off the shelves in Japan, according to the country’s Oricon charts.
According to Oricon’s weekly DVD charts for television drama category, the two DVD box sets for “Limit” were the two best-selling DVDs in the country, ranking at No.1 and No.2 for the week of June 21.
This week, “No Limit” DVD Box I and Box II, released in Japan on June 16, each fell a notch to No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
It is the first time in over three years that a Korean television drama has topped Oricon’s DVD chart — Hallyu star Bae Yong-joon last conquered the charts in 2007 with TV series “Taewangsashingi.”
“Limit,” which aired in Korea last fall, starred U-Know Yunho as a soccer player named Cha Bong-goon and Korean actress A Ra as his sports agent.
The two lead actors, U-Know Yunho and A Ra, attended a fan event in Japan to celebrate the DVD launch of “Limit” over the weekend.
Korean singer and actor U-Know Yunho of boy band TVXQ promoted his TV series “No Limit” in Japan over the weekend, visiting the country for the first time since TVXQ halted its musical activities there last April.
The singer attended a fan event to celebrate the DVD launch of MBC TV series “No Limit,” held at Tokyo International Forum on June 26.
According to local media reports, U-Know Yunho appeared healthy and happy to see some 10,000 fans who showed up at the event.
“Long time no see, I am glad to see you and thank you for coming,” the singer was quoted as saying.
In a letter to fans, the singer also shared his feelings about making an acting debut in “Limit” earlier this year.
“It was my first acting challenge so I was not completely satisfied,” explained U-Know Yunho. “But I want to keep try working hard, based on what I learned from doing this drama.”
The event also featured Korean actress A Ra, his co-star in “Limit” who played a sports agent to U-Know Yun-ho’s soccer player character.
The singer thanked his fans by saying, “I will work hard to show you great performances.. I believe we will meet again.”
U-Know Yunho, whose real name is Jung Yunho, made his debut in 2004 as the leader of five-member boy band which became one of the most phenomenal K-pop acts in Asia and reportedly has the largest fanbase in the world.
They have enjoyed great success in the Japanese music industry in particular, topping the Oricon singles charts six times and placing their single and album simultaneously within the top three slots of Oricon’s singles and albums chart, the first time for a foreign artist to do so in 15 years.
However, TVXQ have announced that they will no longer be working as a group due to the legal dispute between three of its members — Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun and Xiah Junsu — and agency SM Entertainment.
The three have since formed a new group while U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin have ventured into acting.
U-Know Yunho was recently cast as the male lead in the musical “Goong,” based on the popular comics and hit TV series of the same name. The musical will premiere in Korea in September.
Many young K-pop idols including Girls’ Generation member Yoona fulfilled their citizen duties and performed their first act of voting in Korea’s fifth regional elections yesterday.
According to a press release by agency SM Entertainment on Wednesday, many of its artists — namely Yoona, Sunny (of Girls’ Generation), Onew, Jonghyun (SHINee), Heechul, Kyuhyun (Super Junior) and U-Know Yunho (TVXQ) — cast their first votes in the country’s election for government officials, held throughout the country on June 2.
“This is my first time voting so I was excited and happy,” said singer Yoona at the voting station in Seoul’s Daerim district. “I felt proud that I have grown up enough to exercise my precious right to vote.”
Yoona’s bandmate Sunny also showed up at a station in Jongro district to place her vote, saying afterwards that she feels “like a real grown-up.”
Boy band SHINee’s Onew and Jonghyun also expressed their “gladness” at being old enough to vote. Korea’s minimum voting age is 19.
Xiah Junsu of Korean idol group TVXQ has made a splashing solo debut in Japan, placing his first single at No. 2 on the prestigious Oricon music chart on the day of its release.
According to data on Oricon’s daily singles chart released Thursday, the singer’s new single album titled “Xiah (Intoxicaton)” shot to second place upon its release the previous day.
This marks the first time for the pop idol to rank on the Japanese music chart by himself — he had previously graced the chart numerous times as a member of popular boy band TVXQ.
TVXQ had enjoyed great success throughout Asia and the Japanese music industry in particular, becoming the first foreign artist to top the Oricon singles charts six times with their 27th single “Share the World/We are!” released last year.
They made music history in Japan again in early April, when they placed their single and album simultaneously within the top three slots of Oricon’s singles and albums chart, the first time for a foreign artist to do so in 15 years.
The boy band officially quit working as a group both in Japan and Korea however, due to the ongoing legal battle between three of its members — Xiah Junsu, Hero Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun — and its Korean agency SM Entertainment.
Last July, the three singers had asked a court to nullify their 13-year exclusive contract with SM, claiming that the contract period is too long.
However, under the management of Japanese agency AVEX, the trio are planning to form a separate group through which they will continue their musical activities in Japan.
They are set to hold a fan event next month at Osaka Dome and Tokyo Dome as a way of expressing their gratitude to their fans.
heard the single and it’s swell. love it really~!! Go go go..
On Music Station’s May 28th broadcast, it has been announced that Arashi, AKB48, Meisa Kuroki, XIAH Junsu and JUJU will be filling up the guest lineup. XIAH Junsu, from popular group Tohoshinki will be performing as a solo artist for the first time in the program.
performance list (in alphabetical order)
Arashi – MONSTER
AKB48 – Ponytail to Shou Shou
Meisa Kuroki – 5-FIVE
XIAH Junsu – Intoxication
JUJU – Trust in You
Hero Jaejoong of Korean idol group TVXQ has denied recent rumors that he is dating Japanese model Yano Mikiko, according to a Japanese magazine Women’s Weekly.
The weekly publication reported in its recent issue that Hero Jaejoong had “enjoyed a date with Japanese model Yano Mikiko near Shibuya. They were wearing masks and Mikiko had her arm through Hero Jaejoong’s.”
Mikiko is a popular model who has appeared on the May cover of fashion magazine Non-No.
However, both parties denied the report. Incidentally, Hero Jaejoong had also been linked to Japanese actress Abiru Yuu last November.
Hero, whose real name is Kim Jaejoong, debuted in 2004 as part of five-member boy band TVXQ. The group became one of the most phenomenal K-pop acts in the country and throughout Asia, selling numerous records and recently making history in the Japanese music scene.
The band officially stopped working as a group in Korea last year and in Japan last month due to a legal dispute between three of its members — Hero Jaejoong, Xiah Junsu and Micky Yoochun — and talent agency SM Entertainment over their 13-year exclusive contract.
In April, Hero Jaejoong made a successful acting debut in a Japanese TV series “Hard to Say I Love You” alongside top Japanese actors Eita and Ueno Juri of smash hit TV series “Nodame Cantabile”.