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Castillo Theater Presents Newman's COMING OF AGE IN KOREA

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Echoing last week's headlines about the sex trade in South Korea, the off-Broadway Castillo Theatre will present Fred Newman's Coming of Age in Korea,co-directed by Gabrielle L. Kurlander and Desmond Richardson, which tells the story of three GIs, who fall in love with South Korean prostitutes, one of whom is brutally raped and killed. Coming of Age in Korea opens Friday, January 16th and runs through March 1, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m., at the Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42nd Street. TDF accepted; group rates available. For tickets call 212-941-1234.

Book and lyrics are by Newman. Music is by Grammy nominated songwriter Annie Roboff ("The Kiss"). Co-director Desmond Richardson is artistic director and co-founder (with Dwight Roden) of the critically acclaimed Complexions Dance Company. He was a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, the Frankfurt Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In 1998, Richardson joined the premiere cast of the Broadway musical Fosse for which he received a 1999 Tony Award nomination. He has also appeared on Broadway in the musical The Look of Love, the Songs of Burt Bacharach and later, Movin' Out. Richardson has worked in television, film, and video in the United States and abroad, performing with such musical artists as Prince, Aretha Franklin, and Madonna; he performed with Michael Jackson in Jackson's 30th anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden, and was a featured performer in Elton John's "Answers in the Sky" video. He was a featured performer in the 60th Presidential Conference held in Israel (2008), was a featured performer on Israel's "So You Think You Can Dance" (2008) and was a featured choreographer on the U.S. "So You Think You Can Dance" (2008). His film credits include a featured role in Patrick Swayze's One Last Dance and the Oscar-winning Chicago. He received the prestigious Dance Magazine Award in 2007. Gabrielle Kurlander, the President and CEO of the All Stars Project, brings to the production her experience in the commercial theatre (National Tour of the Broadway production of Biloxi Blues) as well as two decades acting in and directing avant-garde and political theatre.

For decades, according to recent accusations by former prostitutes, the South Korean government and the United States military had a direct hand in the sex trade - enabling prostitution as a perk for American soldiers, even though selling sex is illegal in Korea. Coming of Age in Korea playwright Fred Newman, who served in Korea in 1954-1955, wrote this story in 1996 -- 12 years prior to these revelations. Like many stationed in Korea, he had long been aware of the military unofficially encouraging prostitution.

The multimedia musical includes 13 original songs by Newman and Roboff, with choreography by Richardson. The music encompasses the range of 20th Century American popular music, from Swing to Doo-Wop, and from Rhythm and Blues to Country Western.

 


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