broadway bye-byes

KPOP to Close on Broadway Two Weeks After Opening

The cast of KPOP. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

It turns out KPOP on Broadway was a “Blink and you’ll miss it” affair. The musical set in the world of, well, K-pop, has set its final performance for December 11 — after beginning previews on October 13 and officially opening November 27 due to a COVID-related delay. Directed by Teddy Bergman with a book by Jason Kim and music and lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon, KPOP follows a group of aspiring K-pop idols as they prepare for a large U.S. showcase. KPOP began as an immersive-theater concept Off Broadway, in which the audience served as a focus group, but was turned into a classic, proscenium-stage show for the Great White Way. The final performance will host a community event and panel discussing Asian American and Pacific Islander representation on Broadway. The panel will include David Henry Hwang (the first Asian American playwright to win a Tony), Helen Park (composer of KPOP and the first Asian female composer in Broadway history), Korean playwright Hansol Jung, and actor Pun Bandhu. The main cast includes Luna, Julia Abueva, BoHyung, Major Curda, Jinwoo Jung, Jiho Kang, Amy Keum, James Kho, Marina Kondo, Eddy Lee, Joshua Lee, Jully Lee, Lina Rose Lee, Timothy H. Lee, Abraham Lim, Min, Kate Mina Lin, Aubie Merrylees, Patrick Park, Zachary Noah Piser, Kevin Woo, and John Yi. The show will still release its previously announced cast album on February 24 via Sony Masterworks Broadway.

KPOP wasn’t without BTS drama. Following Jesse Green’s New York Times review of the show, the producers of KPOP requested an apology for the “insensitive and, frankly, offensive” review of their show in an open letter posted to social media on December 3. The letter specifically took issue with Green referring to lighting as “squint-inducing” given the show’s Asian and Asian American cast and creative team as well Green’s “ignorance of and distaste for K-pop as a genre” among other grievances.

Times PR responded to the request for an apology on December 5. “We saw the open letter written about The Times’s review of KPOP and quickly convened a discussion among editors and members of our standards department,” it said in a statement shared with the Daily Beast. “This group was in agreement that Jesse’s review was fair. More importantly, we wholly disagree with the argument that Jesse’s criticism is somehow racist. We always welcome feedback and reaction to our journalism, and have conveyed a similar reply to the producers who wrote the open letter.”

If you have tickets to those final shows, make sure to light it up like dynamite and maybe even see it Twice.

KPOP to Close on Broadway Two Weeks After Opening