While it is true that the bulk of the story in Seopyeonje was dark and tragic, there was definitely one moment of levity in the musical where G.O’s Dong Ho overflowed with a playfulness that was matched only by the resplendence of his smile. It was a moment of reprieve for both G.O and the audience from the early scenes of anguish and left the impression that the future looked bright for his troubled pansori-turned rock star character.
I loved every minute of Seopyeonje. Although I do admit that it broke my heart into several million pieces to see G.O cry…..but he was so deep into his character Dong Ho that after the initial ‘Oh baby…nooooo’ moment passed, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of pride watching this incredibly talented man own that role like it was written exclusively for him.
Most of G.O’s time on the Seopyeonje stage was filled by anguish, angst, and definitely anger. In reading portions of the original novel, the one recurring theme throughout the story was that ‘the son’ (Dong Ho) vehemently and with great violence wanted to kill Yoo Bong, his overbearing and abusive stepfather. There is at least one scene in the musical where you see a moment of contemplated (and almost carried out) patricide and it is intense. In fact, the whole of Seopyeonje is intense. The complex and tortured Dong Ho brought a great deal of that intensity to the story which indeed was a perfect match for G.O. The role demanded a level of intensity and emotion that G.O was able to interpret because he pretty much lives from a place of intense emotion. We see that time and again when he sings.
But, I want to leave the intensity, the anguish, the pain and emotion on the wayside for the moment to enjoy a scene of levity and playfulness that unfolded on the stage before the eventual meltdown between stepfather and son.
Let me tell you, G.O sat so close to the edge of the stage that honestly, those of us in the first few rows could have conceivably reached out and touched him. To experience a musical that up close and personal was a wonderment to me. To be that close to G.O while he was performing was excitement beyond my wildest dreams!^^
I enjoyed this scene so much and looked forward to it each performance I attended. And I always wanted to sit on the right so that I could be right there in front of G.O during the scene where the warmth of his smile overpowered even the stage lights that beamed down upon him. This was a moment in the story where father, daughter and stepson met equally while father taught his children the way of pansori. Where most of the story was met with conflict and strife between the three of them, it was in this one brief moment where they enjoyed the music, the learning and each other.
The moment was amazing and G.O . . . perfect.