This review was originally published at Medievally Speaking, August 6, 2020.
Streaming on Broadway on Demand (Summer 2020)
Kevin J. Harty
La Salle University
Stage musicals are big business in Korea, where they feature casts and orchestras so large that they would bankrupt Broadway and West End productions, and play to audiences numbering in the thousands. Xcalibur, The Musical—directed by Stephen Rayne with music by Frank Wildhorn, book by Ivan Menchell, and lyrics by Robin Lerner—is such a stage musical.
Xcalibur had its beginnings in 2014 in Switzerland, where the original production premiered at the Theater St. Gallen. In a formula that has proven successful for any number of producers and composers including Wildhorn, who is a well know figure in musical theatre in Japan and Korea (as well as on Broadway—The Scarlet Pimpernel and Jekyll & Hyde), the show was originally written in English and then translated into German. The Swiss production then toured Germany for two years of fine tuning, after which it was translated back into English and then into Korean for the 2019 Seoul premiere, which attracted more than enthusiastic sold-out audiences once it was announced that the three principal roles of Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere would be rotated among leading K-pop performers. The Korean production was subsequently recorded for audio and video distribution, and is currently streaming on Broadway on Demand in Korean (and Latin!—for the incantations of Merlin and Morgan) with English subtitles, either for free or for a nominal fee.... READ FULL REVIEW HERE