“The Woman in the House”: Local playwright Lee Nan-young is staging her new work, “The Woman in the House,” which deals with female victims of domestic violence. The play begins with a middle-aged woman about to go on a trip with her only grandson. Her daughter-in-law helps her prepare for the trip, and their ordinary conversation eventually reveals dark secrets of their past and the present. “The Woman in the House” runs from Feb. 15-24 at Daehangno Batangol Theater in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. Tickets range from 15,000 won to 20,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2001-5771.
|A scene from the play “The Woman in the House” (Wonder Space)|
“Sweet, Come to Me Stealthily”: Korea’s first original musical, “Sweet, Come to Me Stealthily,” is being revived with newly arranged music this month. The show premiered at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in 1966, starring popular singer Patti Kim. The musical is based on Korean novel “Baebijang-jeon,” which takes place on Jeju Island during the late Joseon period (1392-1910). It tells the story of a courtesan who tries to seduce the island’s new minister. Musical actress Kim Sun-young, who starred as the beautiful yet unhappy empress in last year’s hit “Elisabeth,” stars as Aerang, the driven and ambitious courtesan, in the upcoming show. “Sweet, Come to Me Stealthily” runs from Feb. 19 to March 31 at the newly renovated CJ Towol Theater of Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul. Tickets range from 44,000 won to 99,000 won. For information, call 1588-0688.
“Rebecca”: German-language musical “Rebecca,” based on Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel of the same title, is being staged as a Korean adaptation in Seoul this month. It is written by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, who also wrote the musicals “Elisabeth” and “Mozart!” ― both of which enjoyed much popularity in Korea last year. The original novel was also made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940 as the director’s first American project. The gothic tale is about an aristocratic widower and his memory of his dead wife, which keeps haunting him and his new bride. “Rebecca” runs at LG Arts Center in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul. Tickets range from 50,000 won to 130, 000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555.
“Shear Madness”: The Korean adaptation of the popular German play “Shear Madness” is back for its second run in Seoul. The play is one of the longest-running ones in the world, premiering back in 1963. The play takes place in a hair salon, which is owned by a gay hairdresser named George. After George and his flirty assistant Suji welcome two customers, one a wealthy housewife and the other an antique dealer, the landlady of the shop is murdered upstairs. The audience is asked to participate in the process of solving the crime, trying to figure out who is the murderer among the four characters in the salon. “Shear Madness” is currently on an open run at Daehangno Culture Space Feeling 2 in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. All tickets cost 30,000 won. For more information, call (02) 744-4334.
“The Goddess is Watching”: One of the most anticipated homegrown musicals of the year, “The Goddess is Watching” is currently on its first run in Seoul. The show takes place on a remote island during the Korean War. It tells the story of six different soldiers, some belonging to the North Korean army, who end up living together on the uninhabited island after a shipwreck. The plot develops as a soldier named Soon-ho, the only member of the group who knows how to fix the ship, suffers from severe PTSD after witnessing his brother’s death in a battle. Another member of the group named Young-beom creates a story of a beautiful goddess to console Soon-ho and ease his fragile condition. The show runs until March 10 at Chungmu Art Hall in central Seoul. For tickets and information, call (02) 744-7090.
“A Performance with a Long Title”: A theatrical play is being performed in Seoul’s Daehangno district to support overseas Koreans. Titled “A Performance with a Long Title,” the play tells the story of four individuals who discover hope by revisiting their childhood dreams. Instead of purchasing tickets in advance, viewers can pay after the performance. There is no fixed price; you can pay as much as you like. The theater troupe Changjakjipdan 36.5 is donating part of the profits to an NGO that is dedicated to supporting ethnic Koreans living in foreign countries. The show runs until Feb. 17 at Digital Seoul Culture Arts University’s Daehangno Theater in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. For more information, call (010) 2182-3650.Dance
“Gentleman”: The National Dance Company of Korea’s Jeong Gwan-young is having a solo performance this month, delving into the theme of masculinity in today’s extremely competitive society. The traditional Korean dancer received a number of awards before he joined the state-run troupe in 1999. The performance deals with one’s struggles while trying to meet society’s expectations: He tries to be a great father and husband, while trying to be a competent, respected figure at his workplace. “Gentleman” runs from Feb. 22-24 at the National Theater of Korea in Jangchung-dong, Seoul. All tickets cost 20,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2280-4414-5.
|Promotional image for the upcoming dance performance “Gentleman” (The National Dance Company of Korea)|
“The Man Wearing the Pink Shoes”: Busan-based ballet troupe KOR Ballet Company is presenting their original ballet in Seoul, featuring the lives of old artists living in a nursing home. Some of them used to be musicians, while others were dancers. While many of them suffer from dementia and other illnesses, they are still passionate about arts and culture. The ballet features live music performed by the characters, as they try to console each other by doing what they used to do ― playing music, singing and dancing. The show is on Feb. 17 at Arko Arts Theater’s Main Hall in Daehangno, Seoul. Tickets cost 30,000 won. For more information, call (051) 626-9486.
“Swan Lake”: Korea’s Universal Ballet Company is showcasing the Tchaikovsky classic “Swan Lake” as its season opener this year. The famous ballet tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. She tries to break the curse with her love interest Prince Siegfried, but fails when her man gets tricked. The troupe has been performing the 1895 Mariinsky Theater version of the piece since 1992, while developing its own forte in the dancing of its corps de ballet. The show runs from March 8 to 12 at Seoul Arts Center’s Opera Theater in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul. For more information, visit www.universalballet.com.Exhibitions
“Gentle Disturbance”: The new exhibition at the Nam June Paik Art Center sheds light on Paik’s political and ideological side, as well as his attempts to bring about various social and political changes in the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition features some of Paik’s artworks with political content such as the 1977 “Guadalcanal Requiem,” and the sensational nude performance “Opera Sextronique” created in 1967. Ten contemporary Korean and foreign artists pay tribute to Paik’s legacy of challenging the social order through their own socially conscious works. The “Gentle Disturbance” continues through June 30 on the first floor of the art center and “Tireless Refrain” runs through June 16 on the second floor. For more information, call (031) 201-8500.
“Art Across America”: The “Art Across America” exhibition has 168 artworks on display spanning phases of American art history from George Washington to Jackie Kennedy, and from Columbus’ landing to today’s America. It gathered some of the most representative artworks in the history of American art from four major U.S. art institutions: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Terra Foundation for American Art. The exhibition runs through May 19 at the National Museum of Korea and from June 18 to Sept. 1 at Daejeon Museum of Art. Admission is 12,000 won for adults, 10,000 won for teenagers and 8,000 for children. For more information, call 1661-2440 or visit www.artacrossamerica2013.com.
“Memory of Landscape I Have Never Seen: Collections from National Gallery in Prague”: The art of the Czech Republic is less renowned than its literature or music, but the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea and the National Gallery in Prague have worked together to break the mold by bringing a selection of 107 paintings by 28 modern Czech artists for an exhibition in Korea. The exhibition continues through April 21 at Deoksugung Museum of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea. English guided tours are provided on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. The exhibition closes on Mondays. For more information, call (02) 6273-4242.
“Jeju National Museum”: The Jeju National Museum is holding “Jeju Culture in Airport” event at the Jeju International Airport every Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. at the departure terminal on the third floor. The event is designed to promote Jeju’s local culture through activities such as making one’s own calendar, pop-up cards, or mobile phone ornaments about their stay in Jeju, making knots, and painting pottery and magnets. There is also an exhibition of old maps, paintings and other items. For more information, call (064) 720-8107.
|Children listen to curators explain about Baekje culture at the Buyeo National Museum in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province. (Buyeo National Museum)|
“Buyeo National Museum”: The Buyeo National Museum will hold a tutorial program for children to experience Baekje culture at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday till March 3. The program leads children to explore the Baekje Kingdom era (B.C. 18-660) by learning about incense burner made during that era, copying a character inscribed on the burner and making an ink rubbing of a brick from Baekje era. For more information call (041) 830-8434.Festivals
“Jeju Deulbul Festival”: The Jeju fire festival brings an old custom of the island of Jeju ― setting fire to the fields in the mountains to destroy old grass and kill harmful insects in the late winter to early spring ― into modern life. The tradition called “Bangae” has turned into an annual festival offering tourists a chance to experience the traditional lifestyle of the people of Jeju and folk games. This year’s festival titled “Hello 2013, Healing in Jeju” takes place from March 8-10 at Saebyeol Oreum (Jeju dialect for a small volcanic mountain) in Bongseong-ri, Aewol-eup. For more information, call (064) 728-2751, or visit www.buriburi.go.kr.
|A scene from the 2012 Jeju Deulbul Festival( Yonhap News)|
“Samcheok Jeongwol Daeboreum Festival”: Koreans celebrate the first full moon day of the Lunar New Year to bring health and good luck to their families. The traditional event, celebrating the beginning of the Lunar New Year, will be held in Samcheok, Gangwon Province, from Feb. 22-24.
Visitors can experience various folk games, including tug-of-war, burning a bundle of twigs and other fun activities such as arm wrestling and a singing contest. The festival will take place at Expo Town Plaza in Samcheok. For more information, call Samcheok City Office at (033) 571-3225, or visit www.samcheok.go.kr.
“Guryongpo Seafood Festival”: Visitors to Pohang can shop for fresh seafood at discounted prices at the port of Guryongpo from Feb. 15 to March 31. The Guryongpo fish market boasts some of the favorite winter delicacies of Koreans, including snow crab and dried gwamegi fish. The festival offers a more than 15 percent discount on a diverse selection of fish and operates stalls that cook and serve them to visitors. The local government office expects the seafood market will boost the local economy. It raised 320 million won ($300,000) during last year’s festival attended by 250,000 visitors. For more information, call (054) 270-2853.
“Five-color Light Festival”: The Garden of Morning Calm, a serene flower garden located in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, decorates its vast garden with lights during the cold months of January through March. In the evening, the five gardens will be transformed into fairytale-themed parks with lights in various colors and forms. Visitors can enjoy the view of snow-covered gardens during the daytime. The garden has over 5,000 kinds of plants, including 300 varieties native to Mount Baekdusan in North Korea. The flowers are in bloom from March to November. The lights are turned on from sunset to 9 p.m. until March 3.Pop music
“Soul Play: Brown Eyed Soul”: Soul and R&B group Brown Eyed Soul are holding their third concert titled “Soul Play.” The four-member group came back after a two-year break with the release of their third album and will be touring in seven cities in Korea including Seoul from Feb. 15-16 at the Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium, starting at 8 p.m. on the first day and 6 p.m. on the second day. Tickets range from 88,000 won to 132,000 won. For more information, call (02) 515-5880 or visit www.interpark.com.
“Baek Z-young Live Tour 2013”: Female pop and ballad singer Baek Ji-young will perform at “Baek Z-young Live Tour 2013.” The 36-year-old singer debuted in 1999 and rose to stardom with “Dash.” In 2011, Baek won the Best Female Solo Artist Award from the 13th Mnet Asian Music Awards. The upcoming concert will also include the special “Sexynology” stage, which will reveal Baek’s enticing voice and dancing. The concert will be held twice on Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m at the Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium. Tickets range from 60,000 won to 130,000 won. For more information, call 1544-1555 or visit www.interpark.com.
|Ballad singer Baek Ji-young will perform two live shows on Feb. 16 in the Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (WS Entertainment)|
“Adam Lambert Live in Seoul”: The theatrical “American Idol” star Adam Lambert will be performing for the first time in Korea. Lambert was the runner-up on the eighth season of the U.S. audition program and later released his debut album in 2009 titled “For Your Entertainment.” He was nominated for a Grammy Award for the Best Male Vocal Performance and in March 2012, he released his second studio album, “Trespassing,” which topped the U.S. Billboard Top 200 chart. The solo concert will be held on Feb. 17 at the Uniqlo AX Stadium at 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale in January for 119,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.
“10cm: Fine Thank You and You?”: The acoustic indie duo 10cm will be putting on a solo concert promoting their recently released second album, “Fine Thank You and You?” The duo debuted in 2010 with the title track “Good Night” and made a name for themselves thanks to their unique acoustic sounds. 10cm won “This Year’s Discovery Award” at the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards and the “Best Pop Single Award” at the Korean Music Awards a year later. The “Fine Thank You and You?” performance will be held in the Gymnastics Stadium at Seoul Olympic Park on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets range from 55,000 won to 77,000 won. For more information, call (02) 3141-3488 or visit www.interpark.com.Classical music
“2013 Pianist Son Yeol-eum Recital”: Pianist Son Yeol-eum will hold a recital tour in Korea, starting on Feb. 19 in Daegu. The following concerts will be held in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province, on Feb. 23; Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, on March 1; Daejeon on March 5, and finally Seoul on March 7 at the Seoul Arts Center. She will perform pieces by Alkan, Chopin, Prokofiev and Kapustin. Tickets are priced between 30,000 won and 70,000 won. For more information, call 1577-5266.
“All That Piano”: The Goyang Cultural Foundation is holding “All That Piano,” a concert series that focuses on piano music, at Hyden Hall of the Aram Nuri in Gyeonggi Province. Pianist Park Jong-hoon will be the host, performing as well as lecturing on the pieces featured. The series will kick off on Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. with Park playing music by Mozart, Dvorak, Liszt, Brahms, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich. The following concerts will be held on April 25, June 27, Aug. 29 and Oct. 31. All seats are priced at 15,000 won. Reservations can be made at www.artgy.or.kr. For more information call 1577-7766.
|Poster for “All that Piano”(Goyang Cultural Foundation)|
“Kumho Art Hall Rising Stars”: Kumho Art Hall is featuring six up-and-coming Korean artists in the month of February. On Feb. 21, clarinetist Kim Han will play Brahms, Schumann and Debussy. On Feb. 28, flutist Kim Se-hyun, a student of the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, will present pieces by Bach and Reinecke. Tickets are priced at 30,000 won but those who purchase them a month in advance will receive a 10,000 won discount. For reservations, call (02) 6303-1977 or visit www.interpark.com.
“Bernard Haitink and London Symphony Orchestra”: Bernard Haitink will lead the London Symphony Orchestra featuring Mozart, Beethoven, Bruckner and other composers at Seoul Arts Center from Feb. 28 -March 1. This will be Haitink’s first visit to Korea in 36 years. Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires, who specializes in Mozart, will join the orchestra, performing Mozart and Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2. Tickets are priced between 70,000 won and 350,000 won. For more information, call (02) 599-5743.