Se Eun Kim, ‘19
“Korea’s favorite musical”— this is the title that “Jekyll and Hyde” has held for 13 years. The enormous success of the musical holds an era-defining significance in the brief but vibrant history of the Korean musical industry. Not only has it started a trend of musical thrillers and established the fame of the composer Frank Wildhorn in Korea, but it has also set a model for non-replica musicals — musicals in which the creative team adds changes to the original version.
Following the musical’s decade-long history of success, OD Company is making its most ambitious attempt yet: holding a world tour of the revised Korean adaptation of “Jekyll and Hyde.” If the tour is a success, it would set a new milestone for non-replica musicals in the Korean musical industry. And as if they were aware of the tour’s significance, the producers took measures to ensure that the revised version of the classic masterpiece was unlike any other.
The most noticeable improvement can be found in the stage structure. While all of the previous versions of the musical took place on a regular, single-story stage, the stage to be used in the world tour version is embellished with dark arch structures that set up a two-story stage. This change enables a greater variety of action to take place and sets an imposing atmosphere that works harmoniously with the dark mood of the musical. Other changes include the addition of tall shelves lined with glass flasks in Dr. Jekyll’s lab and the general embellishment of all props and costumes.
The world tour of “Jekyll and Hyde” will put the Korean adaptation to the test in front of the crowds all over the world. From this trial of the musical masterpiece, Korea will learn whether its non-replica system is ready for the global market.