MJ and JinJin of ASTRO Take the Stage in Musical ‘Winter Wanderer’

K-pop idols MJ and JinJin of ASTRO embrace their new roles as lead actors in the upcoming musical “Winter Wanderer,” showcasing their growth as musical theater performers.

MJ and JinJin, members of the popular K-pop boy band ASTRO, are gearing up for their latest venture as they prepare to take the stage as the lead actors in the musical “Winter Wanderer.” Despite their established careers as idols, both MJ and JinJin are relatively new faces in the world of musicals. However, their previous successes in musical productions have paved the way for their latest challenge. In an interview with The Korea Times, the duo expressed their enthusiasm for their upcoming roles and their determination to prove themselves as versatile performers.

From Idols to Actors: MJ and JinJin’s Musical Journey

MJ and JinJin have already made their mark in the musical theater world with their previous productions. MJ’s debut in the musical “Jamie” in 2020 received critical acclaim, and his portrayal of Daniel in “Jack the Ripper” in 2021 further solidified his talent as a musical actor. JinJin, on the other hand, captivated audiences with his dynamic charm in his musical debut with “Dream High” earlier this year. Now, with “Winter Wanderer,” JinJin is embarking on his second musical project, eager to showcase his growth as a performer.

The Significance of “Winter Wanderer”

“Winter Wanderer” is an adaptation of a renowned novel by the late Choi In-ho, a master of contemporary Korean literature. The story, which delves into the themes of love and conflicts of youth, has been previously adapted into a film and a drama. The musical version first premiered in 1997 and received widespread acclaim from Korean fans. After an 18-year hiatus, the production is making a comeback, promising audiences a nostalgic yet fresh experience. The musical will run from December 15, 2023, to February 25, 2024, at the KEPCO Art Center concert hall in Seoul.

MJ’s Return to the Stage

For MJ, “Winter Wanderer” holds a special significance as it marks his return to the stage after completing his military service. Reflecting on his time in the military, MJ expressed his longing for the stage lights and the support of fans. With “Winter Wanderer,” MJ takes on the role of Han Min-woo, a medical student entangled in unexpected events involving the secret of his birth. This role presents a complex journey for MJ, as he portrays Han’s transformation from innocence to moral struggle.

JinJin’s Musical Challenges

As the main rapper of ASTRO, JinJin faces unique challenges in his transition to musical theater. In “Winter Wanderer,” he portrays Park Hyun-tae, a character torn between loyalty and his feelings for Han’s lover. JinJin acknowledged the difficulties of conveying his character’s inner conflicts through songs, as the musical heavily relies on singing rather than dancing. However, he remains open to seeking guidance from fellow actors and vocal coaches to enhance his performance.

Overcoming Perceptions and Evolving as Musical Actors

The transition from being K-pop idols to musical theater actors is not without its challenges. Some musical fans remain skeptical about the competency of idols in the theater world. However, both MJ and JinJin are determined to overcome these biases through their evolving skills and performances. They aim to leverage their natural stage presence and fluid movements to bridge the gap between the idol and musical worlds. By filling in perceived gaps and harmonizing their unique advantages, they hope to leave a lasting impression on the audience through their roles in “Winter Wanderer.”


MJ and JinJin of ASTRO are embarking on a new chapter in their careers as they take on lead roles in the musical “Winter Wanderer.” Their previous successes in the musical theater world have prepared them for this challenge, and they are eager to showcase their growth as performers. As they navigate the transition from idols to actors, they aim to overcome perceptions and prove themselves as versatile and talented musical actors. With their dedication and passion, MJ and JinJin are poised to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression in “Winter Wanderer.”






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