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The Musical “Hedwig” With Four Different Colors

Posted April. 12, 2005 23:35,   


With full bosoms, thin eyebrows, primary-colored pearl eye shadows, red lipstick, a sparkling belt, and a pair of red high-heeled boots and a splashing blond wig.

On the afternoon of April 11, four transgendered actors appeared at a live theater in Daehakno, Seoul. The four main actors of the rock musical “Hedwig,” Jo Seung-woo, Oh Man-seok, Kim Da-hyun, and Song Yong-jin came out in the guise of Hedwig. The musical recently has drawn a lot of attention from the public.

One day before the opening of “Hedwig,” they came together for photographs and their final rehearsal while dressed as Hedwig for the first time, and displayed their attractiveness with four distinguished hues.

“OK, we are going to introduce them regardless. Here, Hedwig!”-

Jo Seung-woo came out to live music as he walked out to the stage from his audience seat as if it were a real performance. He sang “Tear me down” and “Origin in Love” with enthusiasm after unfolding his cloak like a butterfly and throwing it away.

After singing, he said in a womanly voice, “Ai, I’m thirsty. Wait a minute,” and put a straw in a bottled beer and drank through it. The motion was just like a transgendered person. In him, one could not find any feeling of “Chowon,” an autistic child in “Marathon, ”the suffering Doctor Jekyll, or the devil incarnate, Hyde.

Each Hedwig played one scene in relays on the stage while singing one or two songs to the accompaniment of a five-member rock band playing music. That gave people a chance to compare each Hedwig’s charm in the same place.

The oldest one among the four, Oh Man-seok (31) talked about his colleagues: Jo Seung-woo “is like a cute but stubborn girl”; Kim Da-hyun “is very slender and is pretty enough to make me feel like going out with him.” He also mentioned Song Yong-jin, who is a rock singer, and his “manlike” appearance, and Oh’s remake drew laughter from the people. He said, “Song’s makeup face looks better than I expected.”

Jo Seung-woo predictably showed his acting through his extraordinary expressive face, and Kim Da-hyun and Song Yong-jin, who have gotten relatively low amounts of publicity, put their own versions of “Hedwig” on display on stage without hesitation. Kim Da-hyun, wearing a cloth showing his thin waist, performed Hedwig’s sexy body motions, and Song Yong-jin portrayed an energetic, singing Hedwig like the rocker that he was. Oh Man-seok, who only wore a dress, expressed a sad and heart-touching version Hedwig.

The musical runs until June 26. However, people cannot buy tickets for Jo Seong-woo’s performance before May 11, since those tickets were sold out less than 24 hours after the casting was published. On an Internet auction website, those tickets, which originally were priced at 30,000 to 40,000 won, are traded at two or three times their box office prices. Oh Man-seok is cast with Jo Seung-woo for the first month and a half. Seats for the performances in April, in which Oh Man-seok will play, also are almost sold out owing to “Jo Seong-woo’s wind.” About 70 percent of the tickets for May, when Kim Da-hyun and Song Yong-jin are scheduled to take the stage, have also already been sold.

Sue-Jean Kang sjkang@donga.com