The Underdog

Theater, Musicals
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Recently, a documentary lead by TV program Animal Farm has inspected how a pet is thrown away almost every 2 weeks. There has been a case where a dog was left tied in front of dog-meat restaurant and another of an injured cat, thrown away and neglected into starvation. Inspired by this documentary was the creation of The Underdog, a musical portraying the story of these innocent animals. The main characters are Jin, a Jindo dog (played by Kim Jun-hyun, Lee Tae-sung) who was abandoned and forced to become a fighting dog, a shepherd (played by Kim Bub-rae, Kim Bo-kang) who was a former army dog that was sent to an animal shelter after his time was up and lastly, Marty, a Maltese whose sole purpose was to constantly breed new puppies at a puppy mill. Other characters include an old blind golden retriever who takes care of Marty and a humoring Dalmatian along with his girlfriend the poodle.

Before watching The Underdog, one might be prompted to think of the musical Cats, and therefore might even expect the narrative to be about the life of a dog. However, like the aforementioned documentary, the focus of the musical is social criticism presented with rather complex personalities of the animals; The musical uses characteristic of dogs such as loyalty to communicate the sorrowful reality in which these pets are confined, allowing us to reflect back on our society.

The animal shelter in which the musical is set (which is named the ‘place for those who’ve lost their way’)serves as a metaphor for the world we live in. In order for a character to be able to leave the run-down and limited space, a new pet must be brought in. The shelter operates under the phrase ‘regulation is control, control is power’ and is headed by the shepherd, who says that if they want to reunite with their owners, they must oblige to his orders. Most of the other pets believe this and behave accordingly. Jin, however, awaits the day he is set free to take revenge. Yet, things take a turn for the worse when Jin somehow witnesses a mix-breed set free and secrets unfold. 

Actor Lee Tae-sung re-invents himself for this act, showing his fans a new character with bold performance. Musical actor Kim Bo-kang, who is known for an extensive experience in the field, will once again awe the audience with his impressive and dynamic use of voice. Another important thing: you can bring your pet to the performance as the staff will provide care services during the musical.

By: 박인정

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