Start screaming now: The real-life Korean pop star Luna, a former member of the chart-topping K-pop girl group f(x), will star in the original musical KPOP when it makes its Broadway debut this fall, the production announced today. The show will begin previews at Circle on the Square on October 13, 2022, and will officially open on November 20.
KPOP premiered in New York in 2017 in Ars Nova's immersive Off Broadway production, in which the audience was split into groups and led through a music-factory tour of multiple spaces in the A.R.T./New York Theatres complex. The show will be reworked for a more conventional staging in its Broadway run, but the fact that it will be at Circle in the Square—Broadway's only space with a non-traditional seating plan, where in-the-round stagings are common—suggests that elements of the original immersive quality may remain. Teddy Bergman will once again direct, and Jennifer Weber will choreograph.
Conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim, with a book by Kim and a score by Helen Park and Max Vernon, KPOP takes an inside look at the molding of stars at a fictional entertainment label. "The script says it aims to plunge us into the world of contemporary Korean music 'like a bubble bath,' and that’s exactly what it does. Tiny bubbles of pleasure keep floating up and bursting all around us. Pop! Pop! Pop!," we wrote in our review of KPOP's 2017 production. " [But] KPOP wants to give us the bathwater, too: the dirt and sweat that go into the performers’ meticulously crafted images, and the scrubbing away of accents and other evidence of Korean ethnicity."
Luna, whose stint with f(x) has been followed by a successful solo career, is no stranger to musical theater: Her credits include Korean stage productions of Legally Blonde, In the Heights and Mamma Mia! “Anyone who has followed my career knows that musical theatre has always been a driving passion of mine," said the singer. "Broadway represents the pinnacle of achievement in my profession, so being able to bring my culture—this Korean artform—to the fans who flock here from all over the world to see a Broadway show is the honor of my life.”
KPOP is the latest show to join what is emerging as a promising fall season on Broadway. The offering will also include a transfer of the 2021 musical Kimberly Akimbo, an Aaron Sorkin revision of Lerner and Loewe's Camelot at Lincoln Center, and a revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson.