The global phenomenon of K-pop is now taking over Broadway with a new musical. Tickets to KPOP on Broadway are on sale now. Get KPOP tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
What is KPOP on Broadway about?
The KPOP musical takes audiences behind the scenes of the competitive, energetic, high-stakes Korean pop music industry, and the talent, ambition, and commercial interests that drive it in equal measure. The show centers on a K-pop singer dealing with an inner struggle that could bring down a major K-pop music label and rock the industry. She's dealing with this, though, on the day of a special American concert featuring some of K-pop's biggest stars, who are all trying to make it big stateside. Amid the drama, you can expect plenty of high-octane, joyous, and catchy music and choreography that will have you grooving along.
The characters in KPOP on Broadway may be fictional, but they're played by real-life K-pop stars. The lead role is originated by Luna, a member of the K-pop group f(x) who also has a solo career as a singer and Korean musical theatre actress. Kevin Woo of U-KISS, Min-Young Lee of Miss A, and Bohyung Kim of Spica are also part of the original KPOP Broadway cast.
The world premiere of KPOP was at Ars Nova in 2017, starring Mean Girls's Ashley Park and Be More Chill's Jason Tam. That production, co-produced by Ars Nova and Ma-Yi Theater Company and conceived by Woodshed Collective, was immersive. Audiences played the part of "focus groups" brought in by a K-pop agent wanting to know how to make K-pop and its stars appealing to an American audience. The audience went through two floors' worth of rooms set to look like rehearsal spaces, recording studios, and finally a theatre where the stars put on their finished performance. In between, audiences also saw them deal with perfectionist pressure, gaining fame and likability at the expense of tireless work and distancing themselves from aspects of their ethnicity.
The Broadway production, taking place in the more traditional Circle in the Square Theatre, has changed in terms of setup and scope; that is, the show is no longer immersive, and the plot has changed slightly. But the show's themes remain the same, and with the Off-Broadway writing team and Woodshed Collective still on hand, KPOP on Broadway still promises to be a multimedia spectacle that combines live music and dancing with video projections and more to transport audiences into the concert world, and also still dives deep into the dark underbelly of the industry.
Before the premiere of KPOP in New York, this new version of the musical was slated to launch a pre-Broadway run at Signature Theatre in Washington D.C. in December 2021. This run was canceled amid the pandemic, so the show opened directly on Broadway.
What is KPOP on Broadway?
KPOP on Broadway is a high-energy, high-fun spectacle that combines the infectious music and dance of a K-pop concert with the drama of a documentary about what goes on behind the scenes of one of music's biggest phenomenons. Avid K-pop fans and those unfamiliar alike will enjoy KPOP.
Tickets to KPOP are available now.
Cast and creative
By: Jason Kim
Songs by: Helen Park and Max Vernon
Director: Teddy Bergman
Choreography: Jennifer Weber
Cast list: Luna (as MwE), BoHyung (as Tiny), Min (as Riya), Kevin Woo (as Jun Hyuk), Eddy Lee (as Sky), Julia Abueva (as Sonoma), Major Curda (as Camera Operator), Jinwoo Jung (as Juny), Jiho Kang (as Lex), Amy Keum (as Ivy), James Kho (as Wooyeon), Jully Lee (as Ruby), Abraham Lim (as Jae Ik), Kate Mina Lin (as Miyeon), Aubie Merrylees (as Harry), John Yi (as Danny), Joshua Lee (as Timmy X), Zachary Noah Piser (as Brad
Lighting: Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew
Sound: Peter Hylenski
Design: Gabriel Hainer Evansohn
Costume: Clint Ramos and Sophia Choi
Other info: Music direction by Sujin Kim-Ramsey, projection design by Peter Nigrini, hair and wig design by Mia M. Neal, makeup design by Joe Dulude II