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Musical 'Marie Curie' wins big at Korea Musical Awards

Kang Byung-won, president of Live, speaks after receiving the grand prize for the musical 'Marie Curie' at the fifth Korea Musical Awards held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday. / Courtesy of Korea Musical Awards
Kang Byung-won, president of Live, speaks after receiving the grand prize for the musical 'Marie Curie' at the fifth Korea Musical Awards held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday. / Courtesy of Korea Musical Awards

By Kwon Mee-yoo

"Marie Curie," a musical focusing on the female scientist's achievements and her solidarity with her friend Anne, bagged five trophies at the fifth Korea Musical Awards held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday.

"Marie Curie" won the grand prize, awarded to the best Korean musical performed in a theater with more than 400 seats, as well as best director, best script, and best music prizes. The musical's producer Kang Byung-won of Live Corp. received the best producer award.

"Marie Curie" centers on the scientist's discovery of the new elements polonium and radium and their benefits in the form of cancer treatment, as well as the side effects of radioactive poisoning. The big win scored by the Korean musical reflects the increasing popularity of stories about women.

Director Kim Tae-hyung said Marie Curie was a great scientist who was a two-time Nobel laureate, but also a woman and a poor immigrant who suffered discrimination and prejudice.

"Still, Marie Curie fought against the prejudices faced by women and immigrants, while devoting her life to science. We have to try to understand the fear, as discrimination and hatred come from ignorance," Kim said.

Playwright Chun Se-eun noted that what Marie Curie discovered is related to human values.

"I realized the true meaning of human values after the show hit the stage. I found out there are people like Marie Curie among our crew and audience members," Chun said.

Kang of Live Corp. produced other musicals last year, including "City of Light" which shed light on the people who took part in the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Movement. He also produced "Fan Letter."

Kang thanked the cast and crew of "Marie Curie" as well as audience members who remained loyal patrons even during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, actress Ok Joo-hyun, who played Marie Curie in the musical and was nominated for the best actress award, sang the song "Another Name" from the musical during the award ceremony.

Winners of the fifth Korea Musical Awards pose for a photo during the award ceremony held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday. Clockwise from top left are best actress winner Kim Soo-ha, best actor winner Kang Pil-suk, best supporting actor winner Seo Kyung-su and best supporting actress Lee Bomsori. / Courtesy of Korea Musical Awards
Winners of the fifth Korea Musical Awards pose for a photo during the award ceremony held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday. Clockwise from top left are best actress winner Kim Soo-ha, best actor winner Kang Pil-suk, best supporting actor winner Seo Kyung-su and best supporting actress Lee Bomsori. / Courtesy of Korea Musical Awards

The best actor award went to Kang Pil-suk, a seasoned actor who played Nick Bottom in the Korean production of "Something Rotten!" In the musical comedy depicting the origin of musical theater during the era of William Shakespeare, Kang portrayed a mediocre troupe leader who creates musicals using tip-offs from a soothsayer in a desperate attempt to defeat "the Bard" Shakespeare.

Kim Soo-ha won the best actress award for her portrayal of Mimi in "Rent." The young actress has shown remarkable progress after winning the best rookie actress award last year for playing an ambitious character named Jin in "Swag Age: Shout Out, Joseon!"

The best supporting actor award went to Seo Kyung-su for playing a rock star-style Shakespeare in "Something Rotten!" and the best supporting actress award was given to Lee Bomsori for her role in the Korean musical "ChaMe." Both in their early 30s, Seo and Lee's wins signal a generational shift in musical actors in Korea.

The award ceremony was held without audience members to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It was shown via Naver TV and V Live and attracted over 140,000 viewers.


Kang Byung-won, president of Live, speaks after receiving the grand prize for the musical 'Marie Curie' at the fifth Korea Musical Awards held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday. / Courtesy of Korea Musical Awards
Kang Byung-won, president of Live, speaks after receiving the grand prize for the musical 'Marie Curie' at the fifth Korea Musical Awards held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday. / Courtesy of Korea Musical Awards

By Kwon Mee-yoo

"Marie Curie," a musical focusing on the female scientist's achievements and her solidarity with her friend Anne, bagged five trophies at the fifth Korea Musical Awards held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday.

"Marie Curie" won the grand prize, awarded to the best Korean musical performed in a theater with more than 400 seats, as well as best director, best script, and best music prizes. The musical's producer Kang Byung-won of Live Corp. received the best producer award.

"Marie Curie" centers on the scientist's discovery of the new elements polonium and radium and their benefits in the form of cancer treatment, as well as the side effects of radioactive poisoning. The big win scored by the Korean musical reflects the increasing popularity of stories about women.

Director Kim Tae-hyung said Marie Curie was a great scientist who was a two-time Nobel laureate, but also a woman and a poor immigrant who suffered discrimination and prejudice.

"Still, Marie Curie fought against the prejudices faced by women and immigrants, while devoting her life to science. We have to try to understand the fear, as discrimination and hatred come from ignorance," Kim said.

Playwright Chun Se-eun noted that what Marie Curie discovered is related to human values.

"I realized the true meaning of human values after the show hit the stage. I found out there are people like Marie Curie among our crew and audience members," Chun said.

Kang of Live Corp. produced other musicals last year, including "City of Light" which shed light on the people who took part in the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Movement. He also produced "Fan Letter."

Kang thanked the cast and crew of "Marie Curie" as well as audience members who remained loyal patrons even during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, actress Ok Joo-hyun, who played Marie Curie in the musical and was nominated for the best actress award, sang the song "Another Name" from the musical during the award ceremony.

Winners of the fifth Korea Musical Awards pose for a photo during the award ceremony held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday. Clockwise from top left are best actress winner Kim Soo-ha, best actor winner Kang Pil-suk, best supporting actor winner Seo Kyung-su and best supporting actress Lee Bomsori. / Courtesy of Korea Musical Awards
Winners of the fifth Korea Musical Awards pose for a photo during the award ceremony held at Blue Square in central Seoul, Monday. Clockwise from top left are best actress winner Kim Soo-ha, best actor winner Kang Pil-suk, best supporting actor winner Seo Kyung-su and best supporting actress Lee Bomsori. / Courtesy of Korea Musical Awards

The best actor award went to Kang Pil-suk, a seasoned actor who played Nick Bottom in the Korean production of "Something Rotten!" In the musical comedy depicting the origin of musical theater during the era of William Shakespeare, Kang portrayed a mediocre troupe leader who creates musicals using tip-offs from a soothsayer in a desperate attempt to defeat "the Bard" Shakespeare.

Kim Soo-ha won the best actress award for her portrayal of Mimi in "Rent." The young actress has shown remarkable progress after winning the best rookie actress award last year for playing an ambitious character named Jin in "Swag Age: Shout Out, Joseon!"

The best supporting actor award went to Seo Kyung-su for playing a rock star-style Shakespeare in "Something Rotten!" and the best supporting actress award was given to Lee Bomsori for her role in the Korean musical "ChaMe." Both in their early 30s, Seo and Lee's wins signal a generational shift in musical actors in Korea.

The award ceremony was held without audience members to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It was shown via Naver TV and V Live and attracted over 140,000 viewers.


Kwon Mee-yoo meeyoo@koreatimes.co.kr

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