A critically acclaimed musical that’s been years in the making will debut on the Great White Way later this year: “KPOP” is finally coming to Broadway.
Previews will begin at the Circle in the Square Theater (235 West 50th Street) on October 13, with an opening night scheduled for November 20. Learn more here.
The musical inspired by the global K-pop phenomenon will feature one of the world’s biggest recording stars, Korea’s Luna, in what will be her Broadway debut.
Luna began her musical career as a member of the popular K-pop group f(x) and later enjoyed a meteoric rise as a solo artist with numerous No. 1 hit songs. She has appeared in several comedies musicals, including Korean productions of “In the Heights” and “Mamma Mia,” as well as film and television roles. Her latest single, “Madonna”, was released in September 2021 and quickly topped the charts.
“Anyone who has followed my career knows that musical theater has always been a passion of mine,” Luna said during Wednesday’s announcement in Manhattan. “Broadway represents the pinnacle of achievement in my profession, so to be able to bring my culture – this Korean art form – to the fans who flock here from all over the world to see a Broadway show is the honor of my life.”
The full cast is expected to be announced “shortly,” the producers said.
An earlier version of the show produced by Ars Nova in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective, a leading immersive theater company, played to sold-out crowds on Broadway in 2017. It won the 2018 Richard Rodgers Prize , three Lucille Lortel Awards, including Best Musical, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award, and seven Drama Desk Award nominations.
South Korean composer Helen Park and composer/lyricist Max Vernon provided the music and lyrics. Park, a 36-year-old woman who earned her master’s degree in musical theater at NYU, and Vernon, a 33-year-old woman who studied at the same university, both won the prestigious 2018 awards for their contributions to performing.
The musical is directed by director, producer and Drama Desk nominated actor Teddy Bergman. He is a member of the founding collective and artistic director of Woodshed Collective.
For those unfamiliar with the genre, K-pop is short for Korean popular music. He hails from South Korea but draws on musical styles from around the world including rock, jazz, hip-hop and many more besides pop.
Although it has been around in one form or another for decades, the so-called “idol” culture of K-pop was launched in the 1990s and the term K-pop itself gained popularity in the 2000s.
One of the genre’s most famous bands and a musical icon in general, BTS performed on “Saturday Night Live” and drew roaring crowds to iconic New York venues for free performances in years before the pandemic.
Billboard record BTS won Artist of the Year at the 2021 American Music Awards, among other accolades, before announcing a performance hiatus in December.