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Korean 'My Fair Lady' to Hit Stage

2008/07/29 Source

By Chung Ah-young
Staff Reporter

Forget Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews. Now it's time to indulge in the Korean version of "My Fair Lady" with a new twist.

The much-hyped blockbuster musical "My Fair Lady" has unveiled its cast members including Lim Hye-young, a new face who will act the leading role of Eliza Doolittle. Lim was chosen from nearly 1,200 applicants.

Actress Kim So-hyun-I will alternate the role of Eliza with Lim, while actor Lee Hyung-chul, who starred in the recent hit TV drama "On Air", will play Henry Higgins, an arrogant professor of phonetics.

Unparalleled Korean musical songstress Yoon Bok-hee will play the role of Mrs. Higgins.

"It is considered one of the all-time classical musicals and has been beloved by fans for nearly half a century. The musical has not only literary artistry but also hilarious elements", Shin Chun-soo, head of OD Musical Company, told reporters at a showcase Monday.

Shin said that to help the audience enjoy in the musical, the Korean production will reduce the running time of the original piece from more than three and half hours to two and half hours. "The new production will be tighter and more exciting than the original piece", he said.

The musical is the sixth work by Shin and director David Swan since 2004. Swan said that the Korean production would give a different aspect from the previous versions.

"Both (Kim and Lim) have unique styles. Korean fans can expect two different types of Eliza from two different actresses", Swan said.

Yoon chose the musical as she loved the film version as a child.

"I offered my services to the company because I really love this piece. During rehearsals, I found the musical script has something more gorgeous than that of the film. I can say this musical is almost perfect", Yoon said.

She added that the Korean rendition is quite a good adaptation by accepting the suggestions from actors and other staff to make it better fit Korean senses.

The musical features beautiful classic musical numbers performed by a 26-member orchestra through the live performance.

However, translating English into Korean in the scenes of Eliza taking speech lessons from Higgins will be the hardest task for the Korean rendition.

"My Fair Lady" is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion", with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The show's 1956 Broadway production was a smash hit, and has set a new record for the longest run of any major theater production in history.

The Academy Award-winning 1964 film starred Audrey Hepburn.

The musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1956 and Best Actress in a Musical in 1976.

"My Fair Lady" will be performed at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts Aug. 22-Sept. 14.

Tickets cost from 20,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 501-7888.

Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr...

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