Like a phoenix, KPOP has been reborn. The musical may have had only a brief, 17-performance run on Broadway last fall, but it's newly in the headlines now after earning three Tony nominations: Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Costume Design of a Musical. The show's composer Helen Park has also made history as the first female Asian composer to get a Tony nomination.
Some of its cast members took to the Museum of Broadway on May 12 to celebrate KPOP and the release of its original Broadway cast album. And what better way to celebrate a Tony nomination than with a megamix? Park performed a piano medley of several songs from the show: "This Is My Korea," "Upduryah (Bow Down)," "Wind Up Doll," "Halfway," "Shi Gan Nang Bee (Waste of Time)," "Gin & Tonic," "Phoenix," and "Blast Off." Watch it in the video above.
Then, cast member Abraham Lim performed a “Bung Uh Ree Sae (Mute Bird)"—a ballad that is usually sung by the female diva MWE in the show. Lim admitted to being nervous before he took the microphone. See his performance below.
When speaking to Playbill about her Tony nominations, Park said that since closing, the cast of the show had not reunited, until the release of the cast album and the Tony nominations. "It just brought us all back together. We're all in tears of joy and pride. And it feels like a recognition of everyone's hard work in making this very new and honest story."
Park was also very aware that during the run-up to KPOP on Broadway, that she was the first female Asian composer to have a musical on the Main Stem. Park hopes her nomination will encourage composers of diverse backgrounds to dream big, saying: "I think it will be so great if more women and more people of diverse, different backgrounds and cultures, really just focused on staying true to what you know, and sharing something through the power of music and musical theatre—something that is real and honest...I think that will touch people's hearts."
Park also admits that her two kids didn't know what the Tonys were. When she explained that it was a prize, her kids responded with, "But you have a reward already." The reward, her kids said, was "KPOP the show." Smiling, Park recalls, "I was like, 'You guys are better than adults.' Yeah, that is the truth."