The Broadway hit "Wicked" is considered a quintessentially U.S. musical but is also proving a hit in Korea. As of Sunday, 92.3 percent of seats have sold out, excluding free seats reserved for invited guests, in the first 11 days of the show's run.
This is the first time since the original cast of "Cats" visited Korea as part of its world tour in 2007 that the average occupancy rate of seats by spectators for a musical's entire performance period has surpassed 90 percent.
Very few musicals have enjoyed sold-out performances here during their full run, although there have been a small number of exceptions featuring big-time actors like Cho Seung-woo or Kim Jun-su. Even "Cats," Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's legendary musical that made its global premier in 1981, only achieved an average seat occupancy rate of 90 percent halfway through its tour of Seoul.
But "Wicked," which is now playing for the first time in Korea, has been enjoying an explosive reception here since it was first staged on May 31. About half of the tickets available for July have already been sold.
This was possible because "Wicked" has attracted a new group of theater-goers. Men make up 35 percent of the audience, or roughly twice the attendance rate that went to see other recent hits like "Zorro, the Musical" (29 percent) or "Das Musical Elisabeth" (16 percent).