A WOMAN cursing the
world at the top of her lungs; an elder man crying for his son; a young man
running after another pleading, "Kiss me! Please!" while the other shouts "I am
not insane!" It is literally a mad house. Suddenly, all of this is replaced by
merry laughter. This mad house, is a unique mental hospital, Lunatic where
everything is solved by sharing, singing and dancing. Be ready to become
seriously addicted to its joyous atmosphere.
An original production
Holic Musical: Lunatic, or Lunatic for short, is an original jazz musical.
Directed by comedian Baek Jae-hyun, it was first performed in January
Although several critics predicted that it would merely be
a funny but meaningless show, the final result is full of surprises. It has even
been evaluated as a production that should serve as a model for upcoming
original musicals. This show takes the public into the theatrical world of
madness with the help of the doctor and four of her patients.
Welcome to CrazyLand
In a small mental hospital, the doctor brings in a new patient and introduces
him to three others, Na Jae-bi (I'm a playboy), Go Dok-he (I'm lonely) and Mu
Dae-po (Bomb). The new comer, Jung Sang-in (normal man) repeatedly claims that
he is normal. Nevertheless, the doctor continues with her therapy, the
"collective presentation" through which everybody shares his or her story. One
by one the patients confess the circumstances that brought them here. Na Jae-bi
tasted the bitter loss of a true love, while Go Dok-he suffered from severe
material obsession. As for Mu Dae-po, he paid the price for being an overly
laissez-faire father in the matter of sex. The doctor also joins-in by
explaining her vocation.
Jung Sang-in, who had even tried to escape from the asylum,
finally tells his story. It turns out to be so shocking that the doctor calls an
end to the session. Jung Sang-in cries out that, like everybody else, it is life
that made him what he is. With this, the show seems to have reached its end.
However, an unexpected twist awaits, with the doctor concluding: "Look around
you and ask yourself this: are you an insane person wearing the mask of a normal
man, or are you crazy but well enough to know how to truly enjoy life as a
More than a musical
Lunatic is not only a musical but also a live jazz band performance. Unlike
most musicals, a real band accompanies the show with songs, background music and
sound effects. Although it is a small band with only three or four musicians, it
gives a performance worthy of other jazz bands. The band members are sometimes
invited to join in the story, which gives the feeling of one big family. This
intimacy extends to the public. Actors often talk to the audience while
requesting an answer. For example, at one point, the doctor asks one from the
audience to come up and talk about his or her own experience. The audience feels
like it is takes part in completing the story with interactions like these.
Furthermore, the musical never forgets to maintain a touch
of humor. Whether the joke is transmitted in body language (Go Dok-he's unique
and comic dance for instance) or by witty phrases, the public can always have a
laugh. The performers add more fun to the overall production by unpredictably
ad-libbing their lines. Every performance is a new one.
Limits of a low-budget work
Lunatic is an original creative work realized with a limited budget. Although
Lunatic is well made, one cannot deny the fact that the conditions are reflected
in the quality of this stage production. For example, when presenting the
patients, a short animation is projected. This short movie contains important
information, but the quality of the screen image is not clear enough.
The stage is also
quite small for a two-hour-long show that requires actors to frequently change
places. Therefore, at every scene change, the stage is filled with cast and crew
rearranging the stage, while the actors continue saying their lines. Even though
one tries to focus on the main actors, the noise made by the cast moving items
on stage keeps distracting people.
"Crazy is not so crazy after
all!" This is the theme song everybody sings at the end of the show. Lunatic is
the story of four extreme social cases. However, when one looks above the
exterior, one will soon realize that, indeed, they do not look that crazy after
all. Everyone has once felt oneself going mad due to the same reasons the
characters have, only in lesser degrees. Insanity is not such a distant subject.
It is a feeling people feel in everyday life. Then what is sanity? Lunatic shows
that it is only a state of mind. In today's crazy society, the key to sanity is
to learn to live life in happiness
Director of Lunatic
Q: What is Lunatic? Can you tell us about its origin, its meaning
and its characters?
A: Recently, the world is getting hard to live in. The line between
normal and abnormal is becoming thin. I wanted to create a show to make
people realize that sanity depends on how people view life. Living the
hard way is the abnormal way. Taking it happily and comfortably is the
A: The characters are based on the play
"The Good Doctor" by Niel Simon. We modified them, using money, love and
sex to reflect our society.
A: Lunatic basically
means crazy. However it has a much softer and more beautiful image, maybe
because of Luna, which means moon. That is why I named it "Lunatic"
instead of saying "crazy", although it is not a well-known
A: A director should have a
philosophy of his own. Through this musical and its many twists, I wanted
to transmit my philosophy and make them accept it as well as agree with
Q: What moral do you wish the public to obtain through the
A: I would prefer to let
people to realize that concept on their own, rather than tell it myself. A
lot of people who have watched it tell me that the show actually gives a
cultural shock. I am just thankful they feel that way. When you watch the
show several times, you will continue discovering new sides of it. At
first, you can only see the peak of the mountain. Then, you get to see a
hill and eventually the whole mountain.
Holic Musical : Lunatic
Hall Star City
2004/11/19 ~ Open