A critically acclaimed musical now years in the making will make its debut on the Great White Way later this year: “KPOP” is finally coming to Broadway.
Previews will begin at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street) on Oct. 13, with opening night set for Nov. 20. Learn more about it here.
The musical inspired by the global K-pop phenomenon will star 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 went on to enjoy a meteoric rise as a solo artist with many #1 hit songs. She has appeared in multiple stage 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 theatre has always been a driving passion of mine,” Luna said at Wednesday’s announcement in Manhattan. “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.”
Complete casting 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 off-Broadway in 2017. It earned the 2018 Richard Rodgers Award, three Lucille Lortel Awards, including Best Musical, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award and seven Drama Desk Award nominations.
South Korean-born composer Helen Park and composer/lyricist Max Vernon are behind the music and lyrics. Park, a 36-year-old who earned her masters in musical theater from NYU, and Vernon, a 33-year-old who studied at the same university, both earned the prestigious 2018 awards for their contributions to the show.
The musical is directed by Drama Desk-nominated director, producer, and actor Teddy Bergman. He is a founding collective member and artistic director of Woodshed Collective.
For those unfamiliar with the genre, K-pop is short for Korean popular music. It originated in South Korea but leverages musical styles from around the world, including rock, jazz, hip-hop and more in addition to pop.
Though it has been around in some form for decades, so-called K-pop “idol” culture launched in the 1990s and the term K-pop itself earned popularity in the 2000s.
The group BTS, one of the genre’s most world-famous bands and a musical icon in general, has performed on “Saturday Night Live” and drawn insane crowds to iconic New York City locations for free performances in the years before the pandemic.
The billboard record-setting BTS earned Artist of the Year at the 2021 American Music Awards, among other accolades, before announcing a performance hiatus in December.