Facing the Bittersweet RealityIridescent episodes on the lives of city women and their messages
Choi Ji-hye  |
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승인 2007.11.25  04:03:27
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

Seven “Deadly” Sins of City Women
Love, 1% of hope
Back to the past

“THEY DO not know our names,” three women, dressed in pink, say as they stand among a crowd, “They merely call us, doh-si-nyuh(city women)!” Living in the city, the three women are anonymous just like numerous other people. Busily pursuing their own lives, such individuals barely become a dot in the ocean of the busy multitude. City life, as Henry David Thoreau, a renowned American poet, defines it, is “millions of people being lonesome together.” Here is a play involved with the episodes of women living such a city life. Through seven different focused on three women, the play The Seven Deadly Sins of City Women, conveys messages directly linked to city dwellers. Along with such substantial implications, The Seven Deadly Sins of City Women mesmerizes the audience with its glittering features.

About the play
A musical drama, The Seven Deadly Sins of City Women is about seven deadly sins that the three city women commit. One may possibly wonder, actually how grave are the sins to be described as severely as deadly? In fact, the three female characters, who are all named Anna, are ordinary citizens who pursue their lives in the busy city. The sins are rather characters’ digressions from what the society expects and imposes on the women. Thus, those “sins” that women commit are actually the consequences of the grim reality, and the word “deadly” hints the satirical tone on such situations.

Seven different episodes that embellish the play
   Inside the play, seven episodes of the deadly sins disclose the reality that the contemporary women confront in the city. Each of the three characters goes through their own difficulties. Now, take a glimpse into some of the most meaningful episodes!
ANNA I (Anna Baek)
Confident yet still lacking self-belief


a representation of lack of self-conviction

Chubby yet cute, Anna I is a 33-year-old spinster who is brave enough to start learning ballet. Yet, just as many other spinsters, she is pressured by her mom to get married, and thus, Anna I reluctantly meets a guy. Then, she visits a shaman who tells her that she must marry the guy whom she had just met. Her act of visiting a shaman represents city people’s apprehension about their hazy future. Such anxiety is derived from their lack of conviction within themselves. One’s future and fate could indeed be designed by the individual; yet, many people tend to be oblivious to the fundamental fact and merely rely on superstitions.
Anna II (Anna Jo)
Emotionally sensitive and vulnerable
♥, 1% of Hope
“Even when you are right beside me, I am missing you..”
At an English academy Anna II attends, everyone around her frantically exclaims meaningless “I love you!” Anna II eventually goes out with a younger guy who approached her. After having spent a night with him, she tries to open up and offers him love; however, he thinks she is ridiculous, and rejects her. Part of their conversations over a broken stereo implies the end of their relationship. “Its connection had been lost for a long time,” says Anna II. “Then just dump it,” responds the guy. Being compared to a machine, love for some people seems to mean no more than a product that can be discarded too easily. Many contemporary city people often lack emotional interaction, proving that the physical distance does not equal the closeness required in relationship.
Anna III (Anna Lee)
Self-struggling thrown into competition
Competence, a road to happiness?
Anna III, an incoming employee of the *Daebak* Drink Company, strives to become acknowledged at the company. Blinded by one’s own avarice, everyone in the company tries to succeed and obtain promotion in the company by stepping upon others. Inside the company, people are obsessed with their own success while being indifferent to others’ situation. Yet, too much obsession in such a competition could actually circumvent oneself from happiness. Such a relentlessly competitive atmosphere, presented in the play, seems no different from the reality of the current society.
   After all, the three Annas seem to be under the society’s massive influence, and each of their incidents proves their vulnerabilities in society.

Comparison with the original version
The play originates from The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoisie written by Bertolt Brecht, a worldwide prominent German playwright. By defining each sin in an ironical way, Brecht intended to satirize the capitalism and materialism that had emerged in American society in the 1950s. This 2007 play about city women in modern society adopts the original’s satirical aspect of naming sins as the characters’ maladjustments in a capitalistic society. In the capitalistic society, standards used to measure the value of an individual tend to be based on materialistic success, ultimately degrading human dignity. Moreover, the play realistically focuses on the hardships that women encounter or at least, are familiar with in the present society, such as a marriage meeting, pressure to become prettier, and the emptiness that they feel due to broken hearts. Indeed, the sins are rather the characters’ digressions from what society expects and imposes on individuals, especially women.

Irresistibly mesmerizing to contemporary women!
   Other than the performance itself, gorgeous tunes of jazz rings the heartstrings of the audience. Furthermore, chic harmony of pink shades and monotone colors brightens up the gray theater. Not only does the play successfully endow the audience with visual and auditory pleasure, but also messages that evoke sympathy from city people. A career woman Lee Mi-yeon, one of the audience members, says, “I think many women would especially empathize with the episodes because it contains the major three problems about which women worry the most.” Indeed, the play contains the work, dreams, and loves of women, which basically covers what people worry about in this society. “The seven sins of the play are down-to-earth,” just as the director Soo-mi Yoo states. Yet, its fundamental concept is not restricted to women but applies to a much wider range, and also, its entertaining and fascinating side makes the performance worth watching.

Role of Jazz Music
“Musical drama,” as the performance is classified: why is that so? The director Yoo comments that, “This play is not a ‘musical.’ The word ‘musical’ here is used as an adjective, meaning that the function of music is vital to the drama.” Unlike musicals, the composition of the music and the acting practice were done simultaneously. Moreover, the live music by the singer enlightens the performance. “Just let yourself plunge into the background music. Close your eyes, and feel the aura. You would feel your stress being relieved,” says Jeong-ah Park, the outstanding jazz singer of the performance.

Musical Drama The Seven Deadly Sins of City Women

When : 11/03/2007 ~ 01/31/2008
Where : Daehak-no Yesul Madang
Price : 30,000 won
for more information, visit

*                                      *                                  *
The three Annas’ maladjustment illustrated in the play reflects our selves, and their episodes, our lives. While consistently facing reality, they ultimately find their own way to survive. Yet, the play does not provide an exact solution for such agonies of city life. One thing, however, contemporary people should remember is to primarily love oneself and stand strong however harsh the society is on its members. Remember, that nobody else but you is in charge of your life, not even society!
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