It is sometimes amusing to watch kids playing computer games with their portable PlayStation on the street and also young kids exploring the world through the internet for their homework. But on the other hand, it is quite worrisome that kids might fail to experience some of the emotional and warm-hearted feelings that grown-ups had a few years before the emergence of the digitalized world.
The musical adaptation of the 1988-animated TV series "Run Hany" lets kids and adults recall the sweet memories of the past. The musical hits the stage at Sejong Center for Performing Arts, downtown Seoul, from April 28 to May 6.
Based on the comic book "Run Hany" created by cartoonist Lee Jin-ju, the TV animation of the same title gained explosive popularity among kids in the late 1980s. In the wake of the track and field events boom between the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, the comic took used the sport to make a heart-touching story.
The story begins when Hany, a tomboy and troublesome teenager, enters middle school. The only thing she could do better than other students was run fast, but nobody knew the reason behind her ability: She runs away to hide her tears whenever she thinks about her mother who passed away when she was a kid.
Her father is away from home due to his work in the Middle East, and Hany lives in her own world refusing to communicate with other students. But her life changes when she meets Hong Du-kke, a new track and field coach of her school who asks her to become a track runner. Hany starts to train with Hong, but a new rival comes in: Na Ye-ri, a tall, pretty, rich kid who bought Hany's old house after her mother died. The two rivals agree that whichever of the two wins in a national competition can get the house.
The musical features rising musical star Lee Chan-mi as Hany.
"People said that the role of Hany perfectly suits me. I didn't agree with the idea at the beginning, but I was also amazed after I had my hair and make up done for the musical. I saw Hany in the mirror", said Lee Chan-mi in an interview with The Korea Herald.
"We (Hany and Lee) are similar in some ways. Though small in stature, Hany is quite a daring girl!" Lee added.
Graduated from Paekche Institute of the Arts, Lee debuted with the musical "Magic Flute" four years ago and has been active on the stage. She said her favorite part of the show is when Hany is sitting on a swing letting her mother's memory leave her heart after learning that there are lots of other people who care about her besides her mom.
"She learns how to communicate with others after she goes through all those hardships. If her mom and the memory of her was all that she had before, she starts to open her heart. I think not only kids but also adults will be moved while watching the musical", said Lee.
Famous comedian Kim Hyun-sook
plays Go Eun-ae, a fat and boorish character who comes to Seoul to marry Hong Du-kke (Hany's coach) despite his rejection. Kim gained popularity last year through her fun character "Chulsandra" (meaning, a goddess figure that encourages Korean women to have more babies and be free from weight issues) at KBS's Gag Concert.
"Hyeon-sook is one of the funniest people I know. It is like seeing the real Go Eun-ae whenever watching her playing the role. It is not only her appearance but also her acting talents that make the character live", Lee said.
Tickets are 30,000 won to 50,000 won. Children under five are advised not to attend the show. Call (02) 399-1114-6 or visit Open the link
By Cho Chung-un