Pop stars BoA, Kang Ta, The Grace and TVXQ are to make the leap to stage musicals, which are enjoying a wave of popularity in Korea. SM Entertainment, the stars’ agency, said Wednesday it will start producing stage musicals next year. Other pop singers like Ok Ju-hyeon, Bada, Hey, Kim Tae-woo and Andy have already appeared in stage musicals to great success.The Broadway stage musical “Xanadu” is highly likely to be the first show presented by SM Entertainment. Although the company did not officially confirm this, it apparently struck a license deal and is now seeking to rent a mid-sized theater with 600 to 800 seats, having already enquired at such venues as the M theater in the Sejong Center for Performing Arts or the Towol theater at the Seoul Arts Center. Yoo Hee-seong, the executive director of Seoul Metropolitan Musical Theater, said, “SM Entertainment’s musical division leader asked me whether it would be possible for SM Entertainment to rent the M theater in 2008 to present ‘Xanadu.’ I said the major theaters are booked, so it may be possible in 2009.”
“Xanadu” is an affectionate send-up of the 80s movie flop starring Olivia Newton-John. It is attractive to SM Entertainment as the company’s first musical show since it is a light comedy based around some catchy pop songs.
The company has been looking for ways to diversify since the music market shrank to a quarter of the size of its heyday. The entertainment giant has already purchased four small theaters including Teenteen Hall in Daehagno. It has an agent on Broadway and says it is pursuing license deals for several popular stage musicals. SM Entertainment director Lee Soo-man has already mentioned the possibility of branching out into musical production, especially to showcase BoA, several times.
The reaction of industry insiders was mixed. Kim Byeong-seok, the head of the performance department at CJ Entertainment, said, “SM Entertainment’s advance into the stage musical industry will play a positive role in boosting the size of the total market.” But he warned success of a stage musical depends on the quality of the show rather than the popularity of a star or a composer. “SM Entertainment needs to be careful to bear that in mind.”
Personal Note: I was sorta dissapointed when I read this. I hoped that BoA would actually Be ON BROADWAY starring in the play! Not a korean in korea play.
She would be so cute as the lead and her voice is perfect for the roll. I dont know why they dont try to put her on broadway for real. Her english is great and she can sing.