Super Junior member Sungmin acts out a scene from musical "Jack the Ripper" in Seoul, South Korea on June 30, 2011. [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Super Junior member Sungmin said hello with a smile to everyone his eyes met with as he arrived at the rehearsal for musical "Jack the Ripper" revealed to the press on June 30. The role he took on in the production is doctor Daniel who "goes crazy because of the person he loves" yet Sungmin's smile was innocent to the extent that it made the onlooker wonder if he would be able to deliver the complex emotions his character struggles from, from shifting amongst his fear for Jack, his innate desires and the sweetness of love. Then on one side of the rehearsal studio, Lee Jeong-ryeol, playing the base and sly reporter Monroe, was talking to a member of the musical's crew. And a few moments later, everyone gathered in a circle, arm in arm, and shouted, "I am Jack, I am Jack, we are Jack the Ripper, let's go!" It was a sight that was so peaceful that one would not be able to imagine that the presence of serial killer Jack and someone's death would become the topic of an exciting dance tune at a club, be traded for several thousand pounds between an investigator and reporter and become an interesting form of attraction in White Chapel of London in 1888.
As the highlights for the musical started to be shown, everybody, from the main cast to ensemble, transformed as if possessed by their characters. The playfulness they showed just moments ago while warming up or rehearsing their lines with their scene partner, vanished and a cool air filled the studio. Lee Kun-myung, who in particular had strolled about the studio with ease with a cane in hand and dressed in a purple outfit, transformed into Jack completely. His spooky laugh and eyes glinting with a murder, was enough to make the onlooker forget he newly joined the cast of "Jack the Ripper" and has never played such an evil villain in his previous works. The face of Ahn Jae-wook, playing Daniel who has had to deal with such a threatening Jack since the show's first run, was drenched with sweat. Like the sound of thunder which rang through the studio when the two faced each other, the chemistry that spurted forth between the newly joined actor and original actor was one of the moments which made the production worth looking forward to.
However, there was not a hint of coldness in the eyes of the actors who took part in the press conference for the musical after the rehearsal. Instead, when asked, "What do you think of analysis that 'Jack the Ripper' will be popular amongst people in their forties since many members of the cast including Ahn Jae-wook and Shin Sung-woo are in their forties?" Ahn replied, "There is a huge age difference between Sung-woo and I," and Shin responded, "It's not that huge." What a double-sided sight to them although this is probably the key and charm to "Jack the Ripper." The show will raise its curtains at the Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul on July 5 and run till August 14.
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