Calling all Kpop fans! There is a new show that just opened on Broadway called – you guessed it – KPOP The Musical! It’s about….Kpop – and I was able to attend the first preview performance thanks to TodayTix’s digital rush!
I’m going to try and be as honest and open in my reviews as I can. Please note these are my personal opinions and I’m always open to discussions!
Show Name: Kpop
Show Type: Musical
Location: Circle in the Square, NYC
Date Seen: Thursday, October 13, 2022
Kpop is a show about three fictional Kpop acts; one boy group, one girl group, and one solo singer. It’s a show about a show. These three acts are preparing for a one night only special performance in New York City – so its a little surreal, as we’re almost behind the scenes.
For those who aren’t aware what “previews” are – previews usually last for about a month before a show officially opens. This means the show will still be tweaked – lines or plot points may change before the official opening night – and I’ve already heard that there will be changes. There’s magical energy about the “first” of any performance and I’m happy I could see 18 of these actors make their Broadway debuts!
I have to say, this is the most fun I’ve had at a Broadway show in a long time! If you’re a music or Kpop fan in general you’re going to love this show! As I will now be putting it, this is the cheapest way you’ll ever see a Kpop show – and probably the closest you’ll ever be, since Circle in the Square is a pretty tiny venue with a 680 seat capacity.
The dancing and singing is impeccable, as you would expect at a real Kpop concert. And I have to tell you – this did feel like a real concert! Everyone remained seated of course, as is proper for a Broadway show, but it was clear some audience members were dancing around in their seats and some in the back rows were waving their arms in the air. (And I only saw one person break out a lightstick for the final song.)
The playbill is in both English and Korean – which makes this the first Korean playbill on Broadway! There is only one non-Asian actor on stage, Aubie Merryless who plays Harry – the “director” of this fictional show – and he’s kinda the villain anyways.
There is also a significant amount of Korean spoken on stage, sometimes with the responding character clarifying what was just said, and sometimes not, but the message of what they were feeling was always clear even if you don’t speak Korean. I personally loved seeing this representation on a Broadway stage. The songs of course are also sung in Korean with some English in there, as is typical with Kpop songs.
This show does have a plot – but it feels like a flimsy one. The main conflict is MwE, played by Kpop star Luna from f(x), has been in the industry since she was 9 years old, and now at present time she is 27 and doesn’t want to perform or be controlled anymore. She wants to write and sing her own songs that have more meaning to them, but Ruby, the head of the company, has trained MwE and put all of her energy into this girl for the past 18 years – she isn’t giving up that easily.
Then on the one side we have the boy group, F8, who are struggling to accept the newest member of their group who is only half-Korean and the group is making him feel like an outsider.
Finally we have the girl group, RTMIS, who are struggling to put in the necessary dedication to become a Kpop group. Truthfully their group didn’t feel like they had much of a conflict at all compared to F8 and MwE.
I thought every single actor on that stage was incredible and brought this show to life. Luna “MwE” is of course the “star” of this show, but she doesn’t overshadow either of the other groups which was nice to experience. It felt like F8 had more stage time than RTMIS did, but I will have to watch the show again to be sure, it all went by so quickly!
After exiting the building, there were barricades set up for the cast to stage door and sign playbills if they wanted. A handful of the cast did stop to sign playbills and take photos, and you could tell they were all enjoying themselves and riding the high after a stunning performance.
This is truly one of the funniest shows I’ve experienced in a while and I already can’t wait to go back and see it again, and see what, if any, changes were made since the first preview show!
If the merch for Kpop doesn’t add a lightstick to their selection ASAP, they’re missing the target audience here.