The annual festival of South Korea’s most celebrated live performances is back!
Now in its third year, the Daehak-ro Performing Arts Festival—named after Seoul’s most vibrant theater district—is returning with well-loved and internationally-acclaimed Korean musicals, plays, and non-verbal shows. Running from September 2 to October 27, the main festivities are set to take place in the areas of Jongro-gu and, of course, Daehak-ro.
Need some help with deciding on what show to catch at the 2019 Daehak-ro Performing Arts Festival? Here are KKday’s top picks:
Musicals (with subtitle services)
Delighting local audiences for over a decade, these musicals will surely tug at your heartstrings!
Prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster ride because that’s exactly what “Love in the Rain” will give you. A moving musical about family and sacrifice, it follows the story of two brothers who reunite after seven years. Tagged as the quintessential Korean musical, this show saw its first run in 1995 and hasn’t stopped inspiring audiences since.
“Only You” brings on the nostalgia with the beats of ‘90s Korean pop hits to tell the marital journey of a married couple through the years. Join them as they discover the true essence of falling and staying in love.
Fans of hallyu superstar Gong Yoo will probably find the title of this musical familiar, since he starred in its 2010 film adaptation! Nothing quite compares to the original musical and the experience of watching it live, though. “Finding Mr. Destiny” tells the story of Seo Ji-woo as she searches for her true love. Relatable and light-hearted, it will remind you of the butterflies that fluttered in your stomach the first time you fell in love.
With larger-than-life effects and rollicking performances, it’s no wonder why non-verbal shows are crowd favorites at the festival!
This new action-comedy gives you a glimpse of the lives of firefighting trainees told through heart-stopping stunts performed by highly energetic actors. Be stunned by a series of flips, lifts, and amazing choreography featuring parkour, B-boying, and even pole dancing, while learning about the rigors of becoming a fire fighter as well as some fire safety tips.
The word “crazy” is in its title for a good reason: This show is darn right CRAZY awesome! “Let’s Dance CRAZY!!” is the coming-of-age story of three friends’ love affair with dance. Watch them as they dance their way through their young life with unparalleled passion, showcasing various dance styles including hip-hop, jazz, disco, tango, and K-Pop—among many others.
This innovative art performance show combines the process of art-making, 3-D videos, dance, and comedy to be presented by four painters, who will draw live using 10 art techniques and sophisticated stage language. “The Painters HERO” attracts over 1 million audience members yearly, so you can trust us when we say that art has never been this entertaining!
“Sun & Moon” marries traditional music styles with contemporary genres to bring a powerful Korean music performance with dynamic rhythms backed by jaw-dropping hologram videos and a fantastic play of lights.
Inspired by the popular Korean drama “King of Baking, Kim Takgu” comes this highly interactive show held, in which audience members can participate in baking bread or simply enjoy the Pang Show that features mime, B-boying, and catchy music. And to make the experience even more memorable, everything takes place on a Hangang River cruise!
“Chef” cooks up a whole new level of a culinary high through beatbox, acapella, B-boying, acrobatics and more! This fiery showdown among chefs, who are set to make dishes from all over the world, is a mustn’t-miss if you have a huge appetite for food and a good time.
Korean myths “Jamyeonggo” and “Arirang” are given a romantic twist in this non-verbal musical based on traditional Korean music. Get to know the story of two families beyond time and space with heart-thumping percussion, alluring strings, pansori, and dancing altogether! Cited by Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in 2012 as an excellent performance, “Musical FANTA-STICK” has toured the world and entertained millions in over 4,000 shows to date.
Think martial arts infused with comedy—that’s what “JUMP” is! Since its premiere in 2003, this comic martial arts show demonstrating various moves from taekwondo and taekkyeon has received much love from audiences and critics in 180 cities around the globe. They’ve even staged performances in London’s West End as well as Broadway in New York!
When three cooks are tasked by a tyrannical manager to prepare 10 dishes for a wedding banquet, chaos, music, and entertainment ensue! “Cookin’ NANTA” takes on the hustles and bustles of a kitchen with powerful percussion and acrobatics that are sure to bring the laughs.