The Last Empress

Theater, Musicals
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The Last Empress

There are countless modifiers for the musical The Last Empress. The first Korean musical to: Draw more than 1.3 million audience members, to perform for the 100th time, to go to Broadway in 1997, to go to the West End of London... the list never ends. I still remember the thrill when I watched it in a Broadway theater in New York when I was 10. Adapted from the novel Fox Hunt by Korean novelist Lee Mun-yol, the musical is about the assassination of the lady of misfortune—Empress Myeongseong. Since its first performance in 1995, the musical has had some artistic tweaks here and there, and this year it celebrates its 20th anniversary. There are some drastic alterations in this year’s version, including the modernization of musical numbers, as well as a placing a greater weight on Hong Gye-hoon, a character that used to only be a supporting role. Two actresses renowned for their exceptional singing ability, Shin Young-sook and Kim So-hyeon, will play the Empress. Let’s see what 20 years of continued success looks like on the stage this summer.

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