Lee Yong-woo (left) and another member of the cast for musical "Guys and Dolls" dance at a press call for the musical held in Seoul, South Korea on August 3, 2011. [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
A 2:8 parting slicked back with pomade, a fedora perched at a slant on top of it, and a double-buttoned suit wrapped snug around the body. Men who dream of making it big with the one shot opportunity dance. So do the show girls in their sexy lingerie and missionaries with their shirts buttoned to the top, craving for love. Neon lights constantly blink on the stage and the beats created by the brass band escalate rapidly. Light and shadows are created while shuttling back and forth between New York and Havana and the moment that one wears a jacket becomes a picture in itself. This is what show musicals are about - two full hours of clapping in time to the sound of cheerful laughter and beats.
Musical "Guys and Dolls" resumed its showing on August 2, six years since it last raised its curtains. "Guys and Dolls," telling of a couple that has been in a relationship for 14 years and a boy whose life changes due to a girl who has led a pure life, was born in Broadway in 1950. It is also called the formula to show musicals for its fancy shows and cheerful rhythm but its story, as old as the musical has been around for and carrying values that are as old as well, sticks out. And it is because while Nathan (Jin GooㆍLee Yool) and Sky (Kim Moo-yeolㆍLee Yong-woo) satisfy men's fantasies regarding betting and loyalty, the female character has constantly been someone that is passive and obsesses over love. Adelaide (Kim Young-jooㆍOck Joo-hyun) in particular is a show girls at the hottest club in New York but rather than boasting that she is the best, she is depicted as a woman who sings of giving her all to Nathan, her fiance for 14 years. Nicely put, she may be someone who is willing to lay down her life for her man but she is actually quite a fool and Sarah (Jung Sun-ah) who orders milk at the club, too for a long time has been portrayed as a character within the mold of her being a missionary.
That is why it was crucial they undergo change to survive in Korea in the year 2011. Nathan, who was the oldest character of the musical in the original work, has become the youngest and naturally, now dates Adelaide who is older than him. Thanks to that, Adelaide has gained a maturity on top of her childlike loveliness and Nathan too has become a 'cuty' who is bold-faced and has nerve. Also, having Sarah taken on by Jung Sun-ah who has established a sexy image through musicals "Rent" and "Dream Girls," has transformed her into an active woman with desires and passion within her innocence.
Like producer Lee Jina's explanation that the play "is for the characters and the actors," "Guys and Dolls" has created seven shows with the distinct characteristics of its seven actors. Kim Moo-yeol, called Ewan McGregor by Jung Sun-ah, portrays a upright Sky at ease, closest to the original work and Lee Yong-woo, who has given solo dance performances, draws on a 'crazy' Sky who can dance on a new level and has a unique style of fashion. Kim Young-joo with her deep and sluggish jazz vocals and Ock Joo-hyun with the suitable amount of comedy, create an attractive Adelaide. And while Jin Goo's Nathan may be easy-going yet the older brother type that you will want to lean on, Lee Yool's Nathan has quite the image of a younger brother you would want to rap on the head. Whether it be the comfortableness you will find from the long years the show has been running or the peculiar excitement you will find from how different the recent musical is from the original work, a happy fantasy will unravel before your eyes. "Guys and Dolls" will show at LG Art Center from August 2 to September 18.
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