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Musical "Hedwig" Gains Popularity as Cultural Code Word

2005/05/02 | 120 views | Permalink | Source

The musical "Hedwig", featuring a transsexual rock singer, has recently come into the spotlight. Cho Seung-woo, the lead actor of Hedwig who won nationwide fame for his role in the musical "Jekyll and Hyde" last year, is currently filling the Daehakno area in Seoul with a fever of enthusiasm.

Hedwig opened at the Live Theater in Daehakno on April 12. The title role of Hedwig was double-cast with Jo and Oh Man-suk, who is also playing the lead role based on his recognized talent in musicals, theater and dance. Other musical actors Song Yong-jin and Kim Da-hyun will soon join them as new "Hedwigs".

Why are so many people going wild with enthusiasm over this musical that features a transsexual, a traditionally taboo topic in this country?

KBS TV1's "TV Cultural Zone" will introduce the Hedwig musical as a new cultural code word this week. The program entitled "He or She, Musical Hedwig" will be aired at 11:35 pm on May 3, featuring interviews with "Headhazes" (singular "Headhaz"), or self-described Hedwig "maniacs", and a general introduction to the musical.

According to the KBS production team, Headhazes began to appear in jazz clubs near Hongik University in Seoul a few years ago. The number of domestic Headhazes is currently estimated at some 20,000. They stage private versions of the musical on their own every year and also hold concerts with the original songs from the musical. Some Headhazes have even seen the film version of Hedwig, which was released in 2001, more than 200 times.

TV Cultural Zone will interview four actors from the musical about their rehearsal and practice schedules, and take a closer look at the Headhaz phenomenon.

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