KPOP on Broadway: Show Is Now Closed

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KPOP Summary

  • Show Status: Closed
  • Genre: Musical
  • KPOP is 120 minutes long, including an intermission of 15 minutes
  • 8 Shows per week
  • Previews Began: October 13, 2022
  • Show Opened : November 27, 2022
  • Show Closed: December 11, 2022

Broadway’s first K-Pop musical is an interactive satire of the Korean entertainment world that follows two up-and-coming singing groups

KPOP on Broadway Background

KPOP the musical made its way to Broadway following rave reviews from its 2017 performances at the off-Broadway Ars Nova theatre, located in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

The original show first performed in September, 2017 and ran for seven months. The show was created by artists who have little-to-no past experience working on any production on The Great White Way.

Even though the production team may lack Broadway exposure, they were still able to deliver a cohesive storyline that captured the mood of the moment. The musical was written by the South Korean film writer and director Jason Kim and many of his movie techniques have found their way into the show.

Show Receives Development Help From a Variety of Sources

Some NYC based theatre companies including the Woodshed Collective and the Ma-Yi Theater Company, helped out in the development of the show in their respective fields.

Teddy Bergman is the director of KPOP and he is the only person who has worked on any Broadway show before. Bergman previously performed in the Peter and the Starcatcher, which appeared at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in 2012. He played the supporting role of Fighting Prawn.

Music and lyrics for this show were written and designed both by Helen Park and Max Vernon. Vernon has worked on previous Off-Broadway shows, like The View UpStairs, and has been described as an equal mix of “bohemia and Broadway”.

Show Fell Victim to the Pandemic

KPOP was in its production phase during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic and was the first Broadway show to host its casting auditions virtually, through online video calls. Although this process reportedly worked well, it would be quite some time before any of the actors would be on Broadway.

Pre-Broadway Engagement Cancelled

The special pre-Broadway engagement of KPOP, The Musical, that was originally scheduled for December 2021-January 2022 at The Anthem in D.C., was cancelled by the producing partners due to pandemic-related logistical challenges with bringing the production to D.C.

Show Producers Call New York Times Review "Racist"

The New York Times is standing by its critical Broadway review of KPOP after producers of the flashy Broadway musical accused it of dripping with “casual racism.”

KPOP Show producers Tim Forbes and Joey Parnes responded to Broadway theatre critic Jesse Green’s review, calling it racist and they demanded an apology.

The show producers stated: “Mr. Green’s choice of words to critique a work created by primarily by API artists plays to harmful stereotypes and the historic infantilization of Asian people in media, immediately devaluing and diminishing them,”

Green stated in his review that the musical’s lighting design was “squint-inducing,” which the show producers called a “harmful stereotype.”

Producers Accuse Jesse Green of Being White Supremacist

The producers added: “That Green doesn’t like this genre is his prerogative as a critic, but he appears to deny their very legitimacy as part of a Broadway musical, an implicit assertion of traditional white cultural supremacy.”

Show producers seem to claim the New York Times critic is a now white supremacist.

‘KPOP’ Sets Closing Notice After Only 17 Performances & 44 Previews

Despite generating considerable excitement among K-pop fans, the musical has not drawn big audiences – or at least audiences paying top dollar for tickets.

In its final week, the show, which received mixed reviews from audiences and critics, grossed just $126,493, and although 72% of the venue’s seats were filled, the average ticket price was a tiny $32. Producers were giving away most of the tickets to papering services in an attempt to gain some traction on the Great White Way.

The financial running costs of this show were in excess of $850,000 per week and investors balked at the losses that were anticipated for its total run that was expected to run to at least Feb 2, 2023. If the show had continued, financial losses could have been over $8.4 Million based on the current sales numbers.

What’s KPOP Like?

KPOP on Broadway

The show is a theatrical Korean Pop styled music show, which features many different original songs and dance performances.

The audience is split in half to become the cheering teams for one of two different K-Pop groups, Special K and F8 (pronounced “Fate”). Audience members are given a colored wristband when they enter the theatre, which determines the band that they cheer for.

Throughout the show the actors perform fast-paced in-sync dance moves that are a mix of B-boy (breakdancing), Hip Hop, traditional Boy Band and two-step dances. The performers spin upside down on their heads, perform flips and body rolls while maintaining time with each other.

Alternating Roles in Cast

The main K-Pop teams alternate their performances between each show, which keeps the dancing fresh for each performance.

The competition performances go on as the main story develops between each of the members on each of the dance teams. They compete with each other for the audience's approval and as the story unfolds, we discover the band members each have their own career goals and expectations of each other. This sometimes brings the crews closer together and sometimes tears them apart.

Battle Gets to Fever Pitch

Love, longing, heartbreak and personal loss are all put in the spotlight as the teams battle for the title which appears less and less important as the show goes on.

All of the music in the show are original songs written specifically for this production and the songs are up-beat, electric and are intended to make the audience members want to tap their feet with the tunes. Most of the song lyrics are in the original Korean language but there are a few songs that feature a blend of both English and Korean words.

Is KPOP Good for Kids?

This K-pop music show was created for children and adults of all ages to enjoy. It should be noted that Korean pop music is generally geared towards entertaining teenagers. Children under 4 are not allowed in the theatre.

Theatre Information

Circle In The Square Theatre

1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
Seats: 776
Entrance: Broadway, between 50th and 51st Streets
Theatre Information

Circle In The Square Theatre Seating Chart

KPOP Marquee

KPOP Marquee

Cast Members

Luna - Park Sun-young
Bo Hyung Kim
Min Young Lee
Kevin Woo
Will Brill
Major Curda
Joomin Hwang
Jinwoo Jung
Eddy Lee
Aubie Merrylees
John Yi
Julia Abueva
Jiho Kang
Amy Keum
James Kho
Jully Lee
Timothy H. Lee
Abraham Lim
Kate Mina Lin
Patrick Park

Past Cast Members

Julia Abueva
Jin Hee
Cathy Ang
Tiny D
Katie Lee Hill
Timmy X
Joomin Hwang
Jinwoo Jung
Vanessa Kai
Jiho Kang
Deborah Kim
Susannah Kim
Ashley Park
Amanda Morton
Sun Hye Park
James Saito
James Seol
Dr. Park
David Shih
Jason Tam
Ebony Williams
John Yi


Woodshed Collective

Ma-Yi Theater Company

Production Credits

Press Agent

Creative Team

Book Writer
Jason Kim
Music & Lyrics
Helen Park
Music & Lyrics
Max Vernon
Teddy Bergman
Jennifer Weber
Musical Director
Sujin Kim-Ramsey