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Altar Boyz

Posted February. 15, 2006 04:43,   


The Latest Off-Broadway Show-

He was punctual to the interview but was reluctant to have his photo taken. He said, “This will be my first photo as a solo performer, but I didn’t set the ‘concept’ of the photo yet.”

Hesitating, he asked about the interview article deadline and said, “I will think at least a day more and come back tomorrow to have my photo taken.” There is no star who comes twice for an interview. He was so thorough in keeping his image pristine.

“Altar Boyz” is both his “first” and “last” performance. It is his first performance as “Kim Tae-woo,” not as “god,” and his last before he joins the military this summer.

Probably that’s why 5,000 out of the total of 25,000 tickets were sold in just two hours after advance purchase began at 10:00 a.m. yesterday.

Kim said, “Since I ‘temporarily suspended’ all activities as a member of ‘god’ late last year, I’ve received proposals for various fields, such as TV dramas, MC-ing, and DJ-ing. But I didn’t want to play in an area which is not related to music. I will probably not be an actor. However, ‘Altar Boyz’ is a ‘concert musical’ which puts more emphasis on music (than acting), and the music is pop style which I feel comfortable about singing. It is also attractive because it will be the famous show’s first-ever performance in Korea.”

Unlike most of the other stars who want to perform twice on either Saturday or Sunday and take a rest on the other day, he volunteered to perform once a day even if he has to perform on both weekend days.

“I go ‘all out’ for a performance. So, I will feel sorry for the audience who sees the later performance if I perform twice a day.”

A Comic Musical in a Form of Concert-

“Altar Boyz” is the title of the musical and the name of the five-member ‘boy band’ in the show. Kim said, “Altar Boyz is similar to ‘god’ (which is a five-member group),” adding, “And the songs of the show are not very different from songs of ‘god’.” “Mathew,” the main character that he will play, is the leader of the boy band. He said, smiling, “I was the youngest in ‘god,’ but I finally play the leader in this show.”

Altar Boyz, a comic show in the form of a concert, is about five guys with “godsend voices” save poor souls in New York (Seoul) with their harmonic songs. The word “god” frequently appears in comic lyrics like, “Jesus called me. There’s no roaming fee. It’s not a collect call.” Kim said, “I don’t have a religion. But the show is enjoyable regardless of religion.”

There is no female character in the show. For each performance, Mathew will take a woman in the audience onto the stage. Being asked, “What kind of woman will you take to the stage?” he answered quickly, “A pretty woman.”

Members of Altar Boyz are tempted by a producer who offered a large amount of money to sign a “solo” contract with each of them. Kim said, “It seems as if the story shows the course ‘god’ has taken. When we renewed our contract after releasing the fifth album, we experienced the same thing.” However, the ending of the show is also his hope. Overcoming the temptation and rejoining as a group, Altar Boyz sings their heavenly harmonies again to save souls.

“With this show, I will join the military. And it seems that each of the (‘god’) members will begin his own activities. But, after completing military service, probably we will get together just like this musical. We will release the eighth ‘god’ album three or four years later.”

Sue-Jean Kang sjkang@donga.com