Beast member generates buzz as musical actor

December 31, 2013
Yang Yo-seob

Yang Yo-seob

By Chung Hyun-chae

Yang Yo-seob, a member of the popular K-pop boy band, Beast, is garnering attention as a musical actor. He is currently starring in the Korean production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’’ staged in Daehangno, Seoul.

While Yang is still earning his stripes as an actor, his stage presence has been unmistakable, prompting the New York Times to describe him as something akin to Justin Bieber in a Broadway show.

“The 1,000-strong audience fell into a mesmerized silence every time the spotlight fell on Mr. Yang, a sweet-faced star in the multibillion-dollar Korean pop music industry,’’ the newspaper wrote.

“Joseph” is Yang’s second musical, following his performance in “Gwanghwamun Sonata’’ in 2011. While Yang was cast in a supporting role in his first play, he portrays the protagonist in “Joseph” presenting him with a different kind of challenge.

“K-pop idol groups usually have multiple members. That’s what I’m used to. The musical genre, where I am the main focus, is really new to me. I’m learning a lot, but I feel a bit of pressure too,” Yang said.

Yang is taking his work in musical theater seriously as it could open new opportunities for him in the future. After all, the expiration date on teenage idols tends to come pretty quickly.

A growing number of Korean musical companies have been competing to hire K-pop stars to boost ticket sales. However, Ko Yoon-hee, an official from Live&Company, the Korean production team for “Joseph,” said Yoon was picked more for his talent than his box-office appeal.

“‘Joseph is both a naive and passionate character, and we found Yang as the perfect match. His passion for acting has been impressive,’’ Ko said.