Uijeongbu Music Theatre Festival
Uijeongbu is a satellite city north of Seoul with a strong military presence. It is also famous for budaejjigae (literally “army base stew”) to the point that there is an Uijeongbu Budaejjigae Street, a street with many buddaejjigae restaurants.
Also in this city of culture and arts is the Uijeongbu International Music Theatre Festival. This May was the 13th consecutive festival. It showcased outdoor performances, newly-released musicals, and new works of art. This year’s themes were ‘locality’ and ‘festivity,’ and it was hosted by the Uijeongbu Art Center. The shows included the classical play ‘Macbeth,’ movies like ‘Chicago’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ acoustic and jazz concerts, several exhibitions, and even an art market. There were also some arts and crafts programs with chalk, tile painting, and traditional Korean paper. Check out the Web site at http://eng.umtf.or.kr/common/include/site_main.php.
One of the most popular performances was the musical ‘Moon Embracing the Sun.’ It was a vibrant, energizing musical rendition of the very popular Korean drama ‘해를 품은 달’ (which was itself adapted from a novel). It is an award-winning drama of a secret love story between a king and female shaman and includes the conflicts and conspiracy of rival powers. The musical, set in the Joseon dynasty, is delivered with much passion and a strong vocal performance making it entertaining for young and old, Koreans or foreigners.