Some performances intrigue the audience to develop an urge to peek behind the stage. The musical, I Love You, is the right one, in which four performers play 60 characters. The musical comprises 20 love episodes, so the backstage is in turmoil; players changing garments and the staff diverting the setting every five or 10 minutes. Dong-A Daily had a chance to view the backstage.
Five minutes left before opening! Go stand by.
Sub-director Goh Hyeon-joo cries out, running around the dark backstage at 7:55 p.m. on December 3.
What takes the most space in the narrow backstage, with a width of three meters, are four hangers for each performer. Each contains 15~17 costumes.
There is a total of nine staff members behind the stage: a director, a sub-director, three stage staff members (for the setting and properties), two costume directors, a makeup director, and an audio technician.
According to Lee Si-nae, costume director, This show has plenty of quick changes, so we prepared a dressing room in the backstage.
It is 30 seconds before the show. Four performers, in bath robes, leave the waiting room. It is 8:00 p.m. The sub-director cues, Go.
Some of the acting scenes are observed through the crevice from the backstage. The staff is in control of the flow, watching the monitor.
As soon as the lights turn off, players rush to the backstage, slip off, and unfasten their hair and throw off their shoes. Instantly, actress Lee Jeong-wha comes in with a corset and panties and Oh Na-ra in a bra, then the costume directors stick fast to them and put on their next costumes. Stage staff members hastily prepare the next setting, running across the stage.
Not having a consecutive scene to perform, actor Nam Kyung-ju takes time in taking off his garment. As he takes off his trouser, he is in a striped boxer that he wore in the previous scene. Gesturing to remove the boxer, he meets the reporters eyes and grins. It is okay. Ive got underwear after this, he said.
He has an incredible quick changing schedule, starting from the next episode as a father, a home shopping host, a pizza delivery man, an old bachelor criminal, and an officiating priest. He does not even have time to come back to the stage, so he wears two layers of trousers. During the stage blackout, he takes off one of the trousers.
The busiest scene is a wedding scene at the end of Act One. It took exactly 23 seconds for the bride, Oh Na-ra, to change into a perfectly prepared bride with a wedding dress, a wig, a corolla, earrings, white gloves, and a bride bouquet.
Act One ends. The brief interview continues with the four performers.
Changing costumes is tougher than acting, said Lee Jeong-wha. I get excited when breaking the record by changing as fast as I could, said Oh Na-ra. I was so urgently changing that I even couldnt lift up the zipper, Jeong Seong-wha said. Naked body of an actress? They look like android mannequins, said Nam Kyung-ju.
It is 10:00 p.m. As the clapping from the audience begins, the multiple roles of the performers and the staff on stage and backstage both end without trouble.
Schedule: 8:00 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Sundays. At Yeonggang Hall, Jongno, Seoul. Ticket prices: 20,000 ~ 40,000 won. Reference call: 02-501-7888