My body and soul are separated right now, I don’t know how I got home. There’s been a lot of things said today but the performance really….. I think it surpassed the heights that can be expressed by writing.
From Chess subway ads to rice wreaths up to bus wrappings I saw a lot of things before the show but...... My heart pounded in my chest and my legs turned to jelly because of his touching performance that gave a lingering impression.
I can’t even talk about the way CNU looked.
I don’t think anyone slept well last night~ Thinking of Shin-toly onstage made me shake and gave me butterflies, with all of these feelings I waited for this day. I spent the night tossing and turning as it turned into a new day but I woke up smiling.
The fans also felt pressure but the pressure and burden CNU must have felt is beyond imagination. However this morning CNU was brighter than the sun’s light and he arrived looking relaxed, because of this I was comfortable with a steady heart.
In the title “B1A4 CNU” was written but today onstage I did not see “B1A4 CNU” at all. He looked as he always has, but I think it was not B1A4 CNU I saw, it was musical actor Shinwoo only.
Although he was not without nervous looks because it was his first stage, he blended with the rest of the cast like someone who has been doing this for a long time.
He fit perfectly in today’s cast, and showed a totally different feeling between “Shinwoo” and “B1A4 CNU”.
Shinwoo’s first scene was a press interview with Freddie.
Shinwo wearing a suit… ha… He looked so amazing, my mouth hurts to talk about it. I only saw his back because I was sitting at one side of the theatre, but even with him standing with his back to me, I could feel Anatoly’s frustration and pain. It was to the point where I thought “Did our Shinwoo’s back always look this heavy and depressed?” I think the reason why I was able to feel this feeling was because of the actor that played Freddie, Lee Geon Myung’s aura.
Freddie, the opposite of Anatoly who wants freedom, is a very materialistic type, and I was able to feel that in this scene because of the talented musical actor Lee Geon Myung. And that’s why I think Shinwoo was able to perform such a different role and image. Acting in musicals can sometimes look a little awkward. However, his acting was so natural and comfortable; it was like watching a drama. This is why I was in such a hurry to see him live and give him flowers.
Shinwoo’s dialogue with actor Kim Beonrae appeared in a scene at the start. Kim Beonrae has a very charming voice. Shall I say he has the most charming voice among the lowest voices? Molokov’s role was only to pressure Anatoly, no wait and Florence too, but his voice was just so heavenly.
When Shinwoo said his first lines I was so tense, I covered my mouth with my hands and was stuck to the edge of my seat while I watched. But our Shinwoo made me sorry for being tense by acting so naturally.
And then immediately after that was his first solo song…….
What can I say, I was worried about Shinwoo…
The voice that I heard from our Shinwoo was not the B1A4 vocal I had heard before. He sang with the deep vibration and forceful feeling of a musical actor.ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ
It was only the first song but I suddenly got goosebumps and felt like I was about to cry… Thoughts about how much our Shinwoo must have disciplined himself to be able to sing this song came to me. It was impossible not to see that this was not the Shinwoo I knew but the musical actor Shinwoo who I was seeing for the first time.
But the real protagonist of the musical is not Anatoly, that was a trap!!!!! The real main character is the pretty child shown below. This young child’s “betrayal, ambition and chess” is the theme of this musical.
This child will grow up to be the great Florence. I saw actress Ahn Siha for the first time, but the applause just came out automatically. Her acting showed love and pain… Her acting was as refreshing as burping after drinking 100 million bottles of carbonated water… Florence was so perfect, I didn’t feel jealous about her romantic scene with Shinwoo.
I thought Shinwoo was able to learn and act comfortably working with such a confident and experienced actress. Ha… She was very beautiful, and in many ways I thank her for showing me the many beautiful scenes with Shinwoo. (The kiss scene was so pretty. I may have watched it with my eyes half shut, but next time I think I’ll be able to watch it with both my eyes wide open. I don’t think you need to worry about getting caught taking pictures)
Our Shinwoo’s fantasticalness shined through Act 1 and Act 2, all the way to the climax. Oh my god, he sang with his whole body. With the anguish and agony filled expression he was able to portray Anatoly’s frustration and exhaustion, I really got goosebumps all over and it felt like my heart failed/stopped.
My heart is not my heart it has changed. Shinwoo showed many different dimensions and emotions not seen before….. Because of the unfamiliarity it was a huge shock but our Shinwoo was made anew in all senses.
I like people of this degree and shook with reverence all the way to my fingertips. At the end of the second part when he sang in his honey vocals while he dropped to his knees this scene really….. I can’t express it through Korean characters or the English alphabet. There is no way to explain it without splitting your jaw.
Our Shinwoo has grown like this….. he’s overcome the limits he made for himself… Just keep in mind I am just one fan who is so impressed but, how much more full has Shinwoo become through his own efforts?
At that last curtain call, I felt like it was hard not to also cry seeing Shinwoo’s sincere tears.
From the curtain call to the last introduction our Shinwoo came out looking cool but when he saw the audience he began to cry and cry and when he stopped crying he burst into tears again.
I think his tears must have been because of the burden you can only feel during your first performance, his belief in himself that he can successfully perform, and all these feelings just piled up into his cathartic tears.
I applauded and cheered until my hands felt like they were on fire, but the entire audience was applauding and cheering louder. It felt like everyone celebrated with one heart the birth of a new musical actor.
And to add to my musical experience, last winter I saw Deulvis as well, but works such as Chess are so impactful, all my energy is quickly drained. A competition between Russia and America, it wasn’t comfortable watching the characters struggle through their lives through chess terms. I was educated to be anticommunist during the Cold War, but Shinwoo was able to make me feel a deeper empathy in Anatoly.
To see B1A4’s Shinwoo, no Shinwoo as Anatoly, I can say #ShinDongwoo #FirstChallenge #MusicalChess #WasASuccess.
Of course, shall I say I still feel breathless? I think a lot of other people felt that too. Nevertheless, the end of Shinwoo’s first performance marks the birth of a new actor. I look forward to how he grows to become a better actor.
So what I’m saying is… I’m going to see the Musical Chess many more times. Just Shinwoo, just Anatoly, I will watch Shinwoo grow day by day, and see the truth of his message of “working hard and believing in yourself so you improve.” I believe our Shinwoo isn’t a singer that your eyes and ears just enjoy mindlessly. He is guiding our lives to be better… like… He’s that kind of artist!!!!!! (sob sob…….)
This post was written and posted by muse7676 on naver.
It was translated with her permission and posted on banaintlunited.com
Idols are well-rounded. To them, differentiating between dance, singing and acting is meaningless. The question 'why is he not acting, even though he's an idol?' nowadays may be more practical. Musicals have become a stage where they are able to show off their talents and gifts without any filtering, and feel the applause and cheers of the audience. Maybe that is why there are more idols growing their careers as a musical actor, beyond just expanding their fields. It is this attitude of theirs that the cynical viewpoint of idols simply being 'ticket sellers' is becoming powerless.
(omitted introduction about Jo Kwon)
Playing the role of Anatoly, 'Chess' is CNU's musical debut. He's been on the lookout for an opportunity to enter the musical scene, and is carefully taking his first step. CNU is in charge of vocals and rap in B1A4. Unlike the other members who have been active in their individual activities through dramas and variety shows, he has been quiet. Upon gaining mechnical time and a peace of mind, he is finally showing his determination.
'Chess' is about ambitions, love and political conflict that breaks out at the world chess championships between American champion Freddie Trumper and Russian champion Anatoly Karpov. Both Jo Kwon and CNU are still baby-faced. The image of how they will look playing the role of Anatoly does not come easily. But we see the mature musical actor Jo Kwon cheering on his junior CNU, and a tacitum and sincere rookie musical actor CNU.
The lead role of Anatoly is being taken on by a full idol cast. Being of similar age ranges, there is bound to be a war of nerves.
CNU: Not at all. I do not think it's time to be competitive.
Jo Kwon: There is no time to be using up our emotions being that. There is only 1 month to practice, and the amount of things to do is as high as a mountain. All 4 of us are feeling the burden and are nervous. In a week, we practice about 5~6 hours a day. Recently my mind is only filled with 'Chess'.
Even though it's the same character, the character's personality is different depending on who is the actor. What have you been doing to express Anatoly in your own way?
Jo Kwon: We react to how the general public sees us. All 4 of us look so different, and I think even if we just stood on stage without saying anything our images would be totally different. Even without much work, our chemistry with the other actors and the overall feeling will definitely be different. Of course individually, the Anatoly character will also be different.
What character is Anatoly?
Jo Kwon: He is Russian, and the protagonist of a star-crossed love. He is nothing like me. I have never been to Russia, I'm not that old and I'm unmarried. I have no experience in being married then cheating on my wife (laugh). To us, it hits home better when we regard it as a virtual reality. We think a lot about how to solve this gap between ourselves and the character. Honestly, our voices and looks are very boyish. But instead of lowering our voice by a tone against our will to create an imposing feeling, we try to maintain our voices naturally.
CNU, this is your first musical.
CNU: Since this is the premiere of this musical (in Korea) and my first musical I am feeling very burdened. That is why I look very closely at the other actors in the other roles, as well as Jo Kwon. Honestly, just looking at the seniors give me inspiration. I also take into account how the actors express themselves by watching videos of 'Chess' in Broadway.
From the name of the production and flow of the content, chess plays a very important role. When we were taking pictures, CNU mentioned that he is totally unfamiliar with playing chess.
CNU: It would have been good if I could learn it beforehand... (laugh).
Jo Kwon: We will get used to it as we practice. Just like a jigsaw puzzle, everything has a start and an end. It is the same for concerts and performances (laugh). I haven't done many musicals, but when I did 'Priscilla' and my debut musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar' I ran into difficulties too. There are many scenes that we play chess in the musical, so it's possible that we become great chess players as we practice and get used to it. It will take its place so long we do it naturally. But of course it needs to take its place before the first show, and not at the last show. You will go, "Ah, I'm just getting the grasp of it now, but it's ending already?"
Is the casting schedule out? Who is doing the first show?
CNU: It's Ken.
Jo Kwon: He will be feeling really burdened. It's the premiere of a masterpiece, and on a stage as huge as the Sejong Cultural Centre. And the key important role of Anatoly is being taken on by 4 idols. Musical fans will probably be looking on at us with half anticipation and half worry. I hope that all 4 of us can receive favourable comments, instead of unfavourable ones.
The centre of gravity will probably be on Key and Jo Kwon, who have more experiences with musicals.
CNU: That's right. Ken and I depend (on each other) very much. We don't express it but in my heart I tend to lean on him.
Jo Kwon: Me too, as I think 'I'm not the only singer here!' (laugh).
Doesn't the musical stage feel strange since it's a different field from the stages that you have stood on as a singer?
CNU: When we practice, there are about 30 people in the chorus and the musical director. It is definitely a different vibe from the practice room that we dance and sing in. I'm now used to that, but perhaps due to the pressure I keep wanting to go to the washroom. I clearly went before practice started but I keep wanting to go again... (laugh). Unconsciously the psychological pressure is huge. Oh yes, we had a group dinner a couple of days ago.
Jo Kwon: CNU stayed till the end.
CNU: I spoke to the seniors over alcohol, and contrary to everyone's image they all treated me very comfortably. I grew a lot closer to Shin Sungwoo who is taking on the role of my rival Freddie - he has the same surname as me and is of the same generation in the clan.
Jo Kwon: That's why it went on for so long huh? (laugh)
Idols have so many overseas schedules that it's tough to even match practice schedules. There has been talk of conflict with the other actors due to that.
Jo Kwon: That is all dependent on oneself. Whether you have many or little schedules, even if your drama and album promotions overlap with each other it depends on how you handle it. If you cannot turn up for practice, you should have the basic courtesy to practice to your best efforts alone. That way the seniors and other actors will look upon you favourably. All 4 of us are very clear about that. Honestly, to have overlapping schedules is so tiring I feel it to my bones. When I did 'Jesus Christ Superstar', it overlapped with my drama filming, and I thought to myself that this is not something that humans should be doing. Back then I think I was too greedy by wanting to have the best of both worlds. As expected, greed destroys a person (laugh). I think it's more sensible to be doing just one thing at a time.
CNU: Right now I feel like I'm biting off more than I can chew. Because of the production of songs for our next album... It's worrying.
Jo Kwon: This is also dependent on oneself. Anyway back then I did well in both my musical and drama so I believe you can do it too.
Have you watched any of Jo Kwon's musicals personally before?
CNU: I did not manage to watch it personally but I did look out for what musicals he did.
(omitted question for Jo Kwon)
There must have been many musical offers, but what is the reason you chose 'Chess' as your debut piece?
CNU: I've always wanted to do musicals. Previously there have been several opportunities but due to various conditions I did not manage to do them. Right now we are taking a break from album promotions, and I feel mentally calm. Should I say that I have the peaceful mind that will allow me to focus completely on the musical..? Even though we have not done the first show yet, I feel that it was good for me to have taken on this challenge. In the time I have been practicing for the musical, I've managed to write one song. I'm receiving lots of inspirations (from the musical).
After being in a group as an idol, there seems to be thirst for a personal activities.
(omitted Jo Kwon's answer)
CNU: Ever since I was young, I've always prepared to enter the course of applied music as a student. And by a stroke of luck I managed to become a trainee and eventually debut. While doing the musical, I've started to think about the vocalizations and sounds that that I'd set aside. It feels like I'm back to my roots.
(omitted question for Jo Kwon)
Despite a packed schedule, idols take out time to do musicals. What's the reason to do it to the point of overworking?
CNU: It's not that only idols specially feel the charm of musicals, but musical is a genre that is very charming in itself. There are many people who are captivated by musicals, and I think idols are just one part of those people.
Jo Kwon: I think the title of 'idol' is very restrictive in our country. It is true that even if we do the same thing (as others), being an idol has its merits. That is also why people have a prejudice towards us. Because of this, whenever idols do musicals we have to think very hard about it. It's only right to do musicals only when we are fully prepared and have a earnest passion for me. Rather than having indsets like 'since the company is asking me to do, I should do it,' and 'other idols are doing it, shall I do it too?', it's important to think that since we are already doing it, we should work hard at it. This difference in mindset changes the results. The general public judges us cool-headedly.
When you are on stage, can you differentiate fans and general public by the sounds of their applause and cheers?
Jo Kwon: During curtain call, it's very obvious. Fans have this very special atmosphere. In the few seconds that we walk to the front, it's very obvious who is my fan and who is not. During the meeting with the staff for this musical, this topic came up. Since all 4 of us are idols, we should put up notices on our official fancafe in advance (laugh). We are concerned about whether the fans who come watch us will react hugely to the love line and kiss scene. In 'Chess', the kiss scene is a really important one, but if the fans start screaming then we're in trouble. I think all 4 of us need to write a letter to our fans before our first stage. "Please look at it interestingly, please look at it only as acting."
Is it a deep kiss?
Jo Kwon: Come and see it for yourself.
CNU: In order to be immersed in my emotions, even if it's not a deep kiss I will do a deep one (laugh).
This production is probably a challenge even to the agency who decided on an all-idol cast for the lead role.
Jo Kwon: I've watched the version done by popera singer Josh Groban, and he also has a boyish feel to him. I felt hopeful watching that. That version of 'Chess' ended up having 90% of the Josh Groban feel. It was a case where the artiste absorbed himself into the production and created a synergy. We may be young but as long as we express ourselves well I think the audience will be pulled in too.
As a musical actor, what sort of picture are you drawing?
CNU: Firstly, I feel the need to do well in my first production. The meaning of my name is 'a friend you can believe in' [T/N: 信(신) is the hanja for belief and 友(우) is the hanja for friend.] I want to be like what my name represents. An actor that the audience can believe in and watch on. I would be committing a huge discourtesy if the audience is all anxious and sleepy upon seeing me on stage, right?
(omitted Jo Kwon's answer)
Source: @hheajin8 / Translation Credits: skipfire.tistory.com / Please take out with full credits to source and translator.
According to a musical official, 2AM’s Jo Kwon, SHINee’s Key, VIXX’s Ken, and B1A4′s CNU have recently been confirmed for the musical ‘CHESS’. They have been casted to play Anatoly, a member of the chess team, and are expected to demonstrate powerful rock songs and performances.
With plenty of musical experience, Jo Kwon and Key have risen expectations for the musical, and Ken and CNU are gathering interest as this is their first musical project. Comparisons between these four idols’ skills and ticket power are especially things that cannot be avoided.
These four will be acting alongside Kim So Hyun, Shin Sung Woo, and more.
Meanwhile, the musical ‘CHESS’ takes place in Hungary during the Cold War, and focuses on the love and conflict involving two rivals: an American chess team’s manager and a Russia chess player. This musical is increasingly gaining interest not only because of its expected great performances, but also due to its setting in the Cold War. Musical performances will begin on June 19th at SeJong Center for the Performing Arts.
Source: MyDaily / Trans: roz @ bethe1all4one / Please remove all translations with full credits to source and translator.
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