Shin Chun-soo realizes Broadway dream with ‘The Great Gatsby’

Shin Chun-soo of OD Company poses with a poster for the tryout of 'The Great Gatsby' during an interview with The Korea Times at his office in southern Seoul, Feb. 8. He is currently in New York, finalizing the preparations for 'The Great Gatsby,' where he makes history as the first Korean to be the sole lead producer of a Broadway show. Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk

At the opulent Plaza Hotel in New York, amid the buzz of introducing the upcoming Broadway show “The Great Gatsby” on Feb. 13, Shin Chun-soo emerged as a pioneering figure amid the glitterati.As the mastermind steering this ambitious project, Shin stands out as the first Korean to take the helm of a Broadway production as the sole lead producer, blending exhilaration with a profound sense of pioneering duty.His presence was accompanied by dazzling performances of Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada, who brought the iconic characters of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan to life, respectively, singing “My Green Light” from the show, setting the stage for the show’s preview starting March 29 at the Broadway Theatre.”The performance by Jeremy and Eva left a lasting impression on attendees, heightening the anticipation for ‘The Great Gatsby’s musical adaptation — a first for Broadway,” Shin said, reflecting on the event’s impact.”Preparations for the production are well underway, and the cast and crew are working with enthusiasm and good energy … Following a successful pre-Broadway, we sense a growing excitement for what’s shaping up to be one of the spring season’s most awaited productions.”Before heading to New York for the final stretch of preparations, Shin shared his pioneering journey and the broader implications for the global theater scene during an interview with The Korea Times at OD Company’s office in southern Seoul in early February.

Shin is a renowned figure in the Korean musical theater industry with acclaimed productions like “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Dracula” and “Death Note” under his belt. Recently, OD Company successfully premiered the Korean musical “Il Tenore,” which narrates the story of the first Korean tenor during the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule, last December.While Shin’s reputation in Korea is well-established, his presence on Broadway is growing. For over a decade, he has been engaging with the theater capital of the world, starting his Broadway journey with “The Story of My Life” in 2009. Shin has co-led Broadway projects such as “Holler If Ya Hear Me” and “Doctor Zhivago.”However, with “The Great Gatsby,” driven by a desire to steer the production according to his vision, he embarks on a solo venture, a move not commonly seen on Broadway, where shared producer roles have become the norm.”When you are one of the producers of a show, you share the rights as well as responsibility, but in the case of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ both exclusively belong to me … This time, I wanted to ensure the show’s direction was solely mine, even though it comes with immense responsibility,” Shin said.Shin becomes the first Korean — and possibly the first Asian — to lead a Broadway production alone. He sees this as not just a personal achievement but a significant step forward in demonstrating the evolving dynamics of Broadway productions.”If this attempt succeeds, it will represent a significant expansion and diversification of Broadway’s landscape,” 슬롯게이밍 he said.

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