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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

K-Musical “The Great Gatsby” wins Tony Award for Best Costume Design

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The original musical “The Great Gatsby,” produced by a Korean production company OD Company, has won the Best Costume Design award at the Tony Awards, often referred to as the “Academy Awards of Theater and Musicals.”

The musical is a production brought to Broadway solely by OD Company’s CEO, Shin Chun-soo. This marks the first time a musical produced solely by a Korean has won a Tony Award.

On the 16th (local time), at the 77th Tony Awards held at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, New York, Korean-American designer Linda Cho received the Best Costume Design award in the musical category for “The Great Gatsby.” Linda Cho designed over 350 costumes, including 10 dresses for the lead actress, Eva Noblezada, who played Daisy.

Linda Cho is a veteran Broadway costume designer who previously won the Tony Award for Best Costume Design in 2014 for the musical “A Gentleman’s Guide.” She was also nominated for the same award in 2017 for the musical “Anastasia,” and has worked on costumes for productions such as the Washington National Opera’s “Turandot” and the New York Metropolitan Opera’s “Samson et Dalila.”

Linda Cho receives the Best Costume Design award in the musical category at the 77th Tony Awards held on June 16, 2024 [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Born in Seoul, Linda Cho immigrated to Canada with her parents when she was nine months old. She graduated from McGill University in Canada and earned her master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama in the United States. Cho, who is also an advisory board member of the American Theatre Wing, the organization that hosts the Tony Awards, said in a media interview, “There are lots of special things about this show, like having a Korean producer for instance, having an Asian leading lady. There are so many people involved in the making of the costumes. I am grateful for them all.”

OD Company’s “The Great Gatsby” opened at the Broadway Theatre in New York on April 25. It has been a commercial success, surpassing $1.28 million in revenue in just three weeks. Originally scheduled to run until November, the performances are now planned to extend until next spring.

Meanwhile, Korean-American Hana Kim (Kim Soo-yeon), who was in charge of lighting design for the musical “The Outsiders,” also received an award at the ceremony. Hana Kim shared the Best Lighting Design award in the musical category with her colleague Brian MacDevitt.

Brian MacDevitt and Hana Kim accept the Best Lighting Design of a Musical award during the 77th Tony Awards on June 16, 2024 [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Hana Kim, the daughter of Kim Hong-joon, the director of the Korean Film Archive, was born in the United States during her father’s study abroad. After completing her education in South Korea (graduating from Seoul National University with a major in visual design), she earned her master’s degree in stage design from UCLA. She has been active as a stage designer in the American theater scene for over a decade, working with institutions such as the Lincoln Center, New York Public Theater, and Manhattan Theatre Club, and made her Broadway debut with “The Outsiders.”

“The Outsiders” is based on the novel of the same name published in 1967. It is also widely known as a 1983 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, and Tom Cruise. Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the 1960s, it portrays the lives of young people belonging to rival gangs divided by social and economic status. “The Outsiders” won four awards at the Tony Awards, including Best Play, Best Direction, Best Sound Design, and Best Lighting Design.

BY JIYU HONG, YOUNGNAM KIM [hong.jiyu@joongang.co.kr]