“George M. Cohen Tonight,” is currently being staged at Dongyang Art Hall, Sinsa-dong in South Seoul. The Korean adaptation of the famous Broadway musical is a monologue acted by 3 performers, on rotation.
Spanning approximately 1 ½ hours, with minimal props such as a piano, cane and moon, the musical is danced and sung with vigor and sensitivity. The true story of Broadway legend, George M. Cohen, is relatable to Koreans who understand a life devoted to ones work.
Cohen almost single-handedly invented the American musical comedy and wrote more than 50 shows and hundreds of songs before his death in 1942.
The actor becomes Cohen for 100 minutes on stage, impressing the audience with the physicality of the performance as well as the breadth of memorization. Each performer was forced to learn about 30 pieces.
The small, intimate venue puts you up close to the actor who tells George’s life story in flashback from childhood, focusing on the strains show-business caused his family, the highs and lows, the death of his best friend.
Each actor approaches the role in a fashion suited to their strengths, like IM who draws upon his experience as a tap dancer. From Broadway in the 20th century to Korea in the 21st, the themes prove Universal. “George M. Cohen Tonight,” is a fun way to brush up on your Korean! Call now to book a ticket.
The musical plays through Nov. 30 at Dongyang Arts Center (dyarthall.co.kr) near Exit 2 of Sinsa Station on Subway Line 3. Tickets are 40,000 won (interpark.com).