Korean Martial Arts Sensation Jump Opens Off-Broadway Oct. 7

By Adam Hetrick
07 Oct 2007

The Korean production of Jump.
The Korean production of Jump.
Photo by Yegam, Inc.

The Korean martial arts spectacle Jump officially opens Off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre Oct. 7. Previews began Sept. 25.

The 90-minute import promises audiences "the kind of action you'd see in Jackie Chan and Matrix movies," only live on stage, without the use of wires and special effects.

The story centers on a Korean family, including such characters as a drunken uncle and crotchety grandfather, who, according to production notes, "enjoy nothing more than challenging the rest of the family to martial arts showdowns. When two burglars break into the house occupied by three generations of highly trained martial artists, the family turns their expertise on the unexpected guests. The hyperactive sitcom that ensues is the ideal forum for this troupe to show off their extensive training in martial arts, acrobatics, gymnastics and comic acting."

Jump is similar in vein to Off-Broadway productions like Stomp, Slava's Snowshow and Blue Man Group in that the visual and physical elements of the production are used to tell the story rather than relying on language. Some have described the highly physical, family-friendly production as "Jackie Chan meets Charlie Chaplin."

The American premiere has been double cast in order to meet the demands of the highly physical production. Featured among Jump's cast of martial arts talents are Sang-Cheul Lee and Chang-Young Kim (Grandfather), Cheol-Ho Lim and Joo-Sun Kim (Father), Hyun-Ju Kim and Kyung-Hyun Kim (Mother), Han-Chang Lim and Young-Jo Choi (Uncle), Hee-Jeong Hwang and Kyung-Ae Hong (Daughter), Byung-Eun Yoo and Dong-Kyun Kim (Son-in-law), Yun-Gab Hong (Burglar 1), Seung-Youl Lee and Tae-Sung Kim (Burglar 2) and Woon-Yong Lee (Old Man).



The New York creative team for Jump includes Tae-Young Kim (scenic design), DOLSILNAI, INC. (costumes), Jong-Wah Park, Sung-Bin Lim (lighting), Dong-June Lee (music), Gye-Hwan Park (martial arts choreography) and Pan Company (make-up design). CAMI Ventures, a subsidiary of Columbia Artists Management, Inc., produces Jump for American audiences.

Created by Yegam Theatre Company (Producer, Kyung-Hun Kim/artistic director, Chul-Ki Choi), Jump has undergone a bit of fine-tuning for Western audiences. David Ottone was brought in to clarify moments and adapt culture specific references for broader audience appeal, while expanding some of the martial-arts fight scenes.

Jump continues to play a sold-out run in downtown Seoul in a theatre built specifically to house the production since its 2003 debut. Productions of Jump are also underway in Russia, China, Malaysia and Australia.

Tickets for the Off-Broadway production of Jump are available by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (212) 307-4100.

For more information visit www.jumpnewyorkcity.com.