Fans of early '90s pop music probably remember Mr. 2, a male duo who hit the airwaves with "I'm Just Who I Am (Nan danji nailbbun)" and "White Winter (Hayan Gyeoul)". Their debut album, "Mr. 2", released in 1993, is still remembered as a masterpiece after all these years, which includes songs written by Ju Young-hoon and Yoon Il-sang.
After the group broke up in 2000 as one of its members, Lee Min-wook
(currently known as "Yarn"), pursued a solo career. Park Sun-woo (Seon Woo), the other member, has gradually been forgotten from the public. Though he has played several supporting roles in films like "So Cute"
(2004) and, most recently, "No Mercy for the Rude
", none of them have gained the attention as when he was a singer.
Park, though, has found a way to show off his singing talents and impress more people with his acting - he has become a musical star!
For Park, it took only a few minor roles to get a chance to make his mark in a major role.
"It was not easy at all. I even had to change my voice color to somewhat classical to be a musical actor", Park said in an interview with The Korea Herald on Friday. From this Saturday, Park will play 15 different characters in "I Love You", a local adaptation of hit Off-Broadway musical "I Love You, You Are Perfect, Now Change". It will run through Dec. 17 at Dongsoong Hall in Daehangno, Seoul.
Now in its third season, the musical has been seen by some 300,000 people since it was premiered in the country two years ago. "Such a great turnout is a great burden for me. But I'll do my best not to ruin the show's reputation", said Park, who has taken over the roles from Nam Kyung-joo, one of Korea's biggest musical stars who had played all 15 characters seamlessly for its two previous seasons.
"He was awesome. I still have much to work on", he shook his head, smiling. "Because he was so good, it was hard for me to think of something new to try for the roles. But once rehearsals started, I became much more comfortable with the roles - comfortable enough to try more of my own gimmicks".
He said Hyde, one of the 15 characters who was put in jail, has now become a self-torturing deadbone.
"Of course not every character is equally understandable. It takes much more effort to master difficult characters", he added.
In addition to the musical drama, the former pop star also seeks to continue his acting on the silver screen. In the upcoming comedy "Masked Dal-ho", popular comedian Lee Kyeong-kyoo's second film as director, Park will play a nightclub singer whose only real talent is mimicking pop stars.
"But 'I Love You' will be more fun", said Park, who dreams of acting out the dual role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the musical "Jekyll and Hyde" some day.
"I have received proposals to record a new album, but I don't want to. Well, it's good that I have something to look back on and feel good about, but now, acting is everything".
"I Love You" is a patchwork of 20 independent episodes, which are all put together under the theme of "Love and Marriage"
Besides Park, the musical also stars Lee Kun-myung and Kim Jae-man
Tickets are 20,000 to 45,000 won. For more information, call (02) 501-7888.
By Lee Yong-sung