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Cast Announced for THE KARATE KID- THE MUSICAL Pre-Broadway Engagement

The production will be led by Jovanni Sy as Chojun Miyagi, John Cardoza as Daniel LaRusso, Kate Baldwin as Lucille LaRusso, and more!

Cast Announced for THE KARATE KID- THE MUSICAL Pre-Broadway Engagement

The complete cast and creative team has been announced for the world premiere, pre-Broadway engagement of The Karate Kid - The Musical, which will take the stage at STAGES St. Louis, starting May 25.

The complete cast includes Jovanni Sy as Chojun Miyagi, John Cardoza as Daniel LaRusso, two-time Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin as Lucille LaRusso, Alan H. Green as John Kreese, Jake Bentley Young as Johnny Lawrence, Jetta Juriansz as Ali Mills, and Luis Pablo Garcia as Freddie Fernandez.

The ensemble cast will also feature Manik Anand, Trevor James Berger, Leah Berry, Gabi Campo, Caitlyn Caughell, Kristina Garvida Doucette, Zachary Downer, Francis Florendo, Kayla Jenerson, Sydney Jones, Josh Hoon Lee, Noah Lentini, Garrick Macatangay, Abby Mastusaka, Justice D. Moore, Omar Nieves, Jackson Kanawha Perry, Isidro Rafael, Sangeetha Santhebennur, and Victor Carrillo Tracey.

"With this announcement of the brilliant cast for the STAGES St. Louis World Premiere of THE KARATE KID - The Musical, I am more excited than ever to be producing this new musical with the amazing creative team," Producer Kumiko Yoshii said. "I am thrilled for audiences to soon experience this heartfelt stage adaptation of the beloved film."

"We are so excited to present THE KARATE KID - The Musical to the World with this outstanding cast and creative team," Mosbacher Family Executive Producer Jack Lane said. "These artists are truly remarkable and will no doubt put their heart and soul into this unique, new production."

As previously announced the book was written by Robert Mark Kamen, with music and lyrics by Drew Gasparini, choreography by Keone and Mari Madrid, and under the direction of Amon Miyamoto. Joining the Creative team is Tony Award Winning scenic designer Derek McLane, costume designer Ayako Maeda, lighting designer Bradley King, sound designer Kai Harada, projection designer Peter Nigrini, orchestrator John Clancy, music director & arrangements Andrew Resnick,

When The Karate Kid hit cineplexes in 1984, it became an instant cultural phenomenon earning rave reviews and racking up millions of dollars at the box office. Featuring now-iconic performances by Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, William Zabka, and Elisabeth Shue, that original film spawned a media franchise that includes a total of five films, an animated television series and the hit television series "Cobra Kai" with many actors reprising their original film roles. "Cobra Kai" launched on YouTube Premium in 2018 and moved to Netflix in 2020, with season 4 premiering this December. It's also widely credited with popularizing karate in the United States.

For more information, please visit TheKarateKidTheMusical.com.

About the Team

Robert Mark Kamen (Book) has a film career with over twenty major motion pictures including Taps, The Karate Kid series, The Fifth Element, The Professional, The Transporter series, A Walk in the Clouds, Lethal Weapon III, and the Taken series. He has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1980, Robert purchased 280 acres of land in Sonoma County, California, from which the award-winning Kamen Wines are crafted and produced.

Drew Gasparini (Music & Lyrics) is an award-winning composer/lyricist whose credits include the musicals It's Kind of a Funny Story, Night Shift, The Whipping Boy, and the infamous Super Bowl ad/publicity stunt SKITTLES COMMERCIAL: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL starring Michael C. Hall. Drew was also a songwriter for season two of the television series "Smash" on NBC, and his songs have been used in several ad campaigns including Hotels.com, Ford, and CMT. He hosts the podcast "Now We're Talking" on the Broadway Podcast Network which was featured in Rolling Stone Magazine.

Amon Miyamoto (Director) became the first Japanese director to direct a musical on Broadway for his staging of the revival, Pacific Overtures, which received four Tony nominations. He has directed numerous productions in Japan and worldwide, from musicals, straight plays, opera, and kabuki as well as other art genres. His recent works in New York include a play version of The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, a stage adaptation of Yukio Mishima's novel of the same title, at Lincoln Center Festival in 2011. In 2013, he made a European opera debut with Mozart's The Magic Flute at Landestheater Linz in Austria. For Opéra national du Rhin, he directed Toshiro Mayuzumi's opera Le Pavilion D'or in 2018, and Parisfal in 2020. His new direction of the opera Madame Butterfly is set to play at the Semperoper Opera House in Dresden, Germany in 2022, San Francisco Opera in 2023, and the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2024.

Keone & Mari Madrid (Choreographers) are an award-winning choreographer & director team, as well as husband, wife & parents. Their ability to tell stories through detailed choreography has permeated beyond the dance world and into theatre, music, film, and online platforms. While coming from a dance background, their approach to utilizing all human movements, alongside their inventive dance vocabulary, has allowed their work to connect to many. Notable work includes: Disney's animated short "Us Again," Broadway theater shows, starring/choreographing Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" music video, BTS, Billie Eilish, Ed SHeeran, Flying Lotus & Kendrick Lamar, nominations for best choreography at the MTV Video Music Awards and the UK Video Music Awards, Cirque, "World of Dance," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing With the Stars," Netflix, Nike, Timberland, Beats By Dre, several K-Pop artists, viral videos, multiple champions at major dance competitions and more. Their online work has amassed over billions of views. Most recently, Keone and Mari directed and/or choreographed two theatre shows including the Drama Desk Nominated Beyond Babel, and the Broadway-bound Once Upon a Time. Additionally, "Us Again," the Disney animated short film, told entirely through music and dance, was shortlisted for an Academy Award and won the NAACP Image Award for Animated Short Film and the HCA award for Best Animated Short Film. They were included as choreographers and story partners. "Lolo," a documentary short film that they produced and directed, received awards at numerous film festivals and played at Oscar-qualifying festivals.

Derek McLane (Scenic Designer) has designed more than 350 theatrical productions including the Broadway smash hit Moulin Rouge! (2021 Tony Award Winner for Best Scenic Design of a Musical), 33 Variations (2009 Tony Award Winner for Best Scenic Design of a Play), the 2011 Revival of Anything Goes, and the recently opened MJ: The Musical. He has won Emmy Awards for his design of Hairspray Live! and the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

Ayako Maeda (Costume Designer) is a multi-award-winning costume designer based in Japan. She has designed numerous plays, opera, ballet, and musical productions, working with directors from all over the world. She has received many prestigious awards in Japan including Kisaku Ito Award, Yomiuri Theater Grand Prize (10th, 25th, and 28th Best Design), Kinokuniya Theatre Award, Akiko Tachibana Creative Staff Award, etc. Her recent works include Final Take, Tokyo Godfathers, and Richard II, for New National Theatre in Tokyo. She is a long-time collaborator of Amon Miyamoto and has designed many shows for him including The Fantasticks, Urinetown, Sweeny Todd, Grey Gardens and other operas and plays. She studied under Kikuko Ogata as well as in England as an overseas trainee in receipt of a grant from the Agency of Cultural Affairs from December 1998 to August 1999 and recently from December 2020 to February 2021.

Bradley King (Lighting Designer) is a Lighting Designer based in NYC. Broadway: Hadestown (Tony, Drama Desk winner), The Great Comet (Tony, Drama Desk winner), Flying Over Sunset, Bernhardt/Hamlet. Recent off-Broadway: Endlings (NYTW), Evita (City Center Encores), Alice by Heart (MCC), Apologia, The Last Match (Roundabout), The Treasurer (Playwrights Horizons), shows for Atlantic Theater Company, LAByrinth, The Kitchen, Signature Theater, the Vineyard, CSC, and many others. Regional: The Alley, ART, The Guthrie, Long Wharf, The McCarter, The Old Globe, TUTS, Yale Rep, and many others. International: UK, Canada, China. Two-time Tony, Drama Desk, and OCC Award winner; three-time Lortel nominee. MFA, NYU. Proud USA829 member.

Kai Harada (Sound Designer) Broadway: Head over Heels; The Band's Visit (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award); Amelie; Sunday in the Park With George; Allegiance; Gigi; Fun Home; On the Town; First Date; Follies (Tony, Drama Desk Nominations); and Millian Dollar Quartet. Other: Swept Away (Berkeley Rep); Kimberly Akimbo (Atlantic); Merry Wives (co-designer, Delacorte); Hercules (Delacorte); Soft Power (Public); Kismet (Santa Barbara); Marie: Dancing Still (5th Avenue); The Light in the Piazza, Candide (L.A. Opera); We Live in Cairo, The Black Clown (ART); Tommy, The Music Man, Little Shop of Horrors, Little Dancer (Kennedy Center); Silent Night (Washington National Opera); Zorro (Moscow; Atlanta); Hinterm Horizont (Berlin); Sweeny Todd (Portland Opera). Recorded Media: Spandex: The Musical, Row (Audible/WTF). Audio Consultant for the revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Education: Yale University.

Peter Nigrini (Projection Designer) has designed on Broadway for MJ: The Musical, Beetlejuice, Ain't Too Proud, The SpongeBob Musical, Dear Evan Hansen, A Doll's House, Part 2, Amelie, An Act of God, The Heidi Chronicles, The Best Man, Fela, 9 to 5 and say Goodnight Gracie. Other designs include: Grounded (The Public Theater), Here Lies Love (The Public Theater / Royal National Theatre-London), Wakey, Wakey (Signature Theater), Real Enemies (BAM), Don Giovanni and Lucia Di Lammermoor (Santa Fe Opera), Fetch Clay, Make Man (New York Theater Workshop; McCarter Theatre Center), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, (2nd Stage Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Dallas Theatre Center), Notes from Underground (Yale Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Theater for a New Audience), Grace Jones' - Hurricane Tour (Hollywood Bowl, Hammerstein Ballroom), Rent (New World Stages), Elsewhere (BAM), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (New York City Opera), Blind Date (Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance) and The Orphan of Zhao (Lincoln Center Festival). Awards include the first-ever Drama Desk for Outstanding Projection Design and 2013 Hewes Design Award for Here Lies Love, and a Special Lortel Award for Grounded.

John Clancy (Orchestrator) has many Broadway credits including his Tony Award Nominated work on Mean Girls, Fun Home, and Shrek: The Musical as well as Diana, The Prom, Tuck Everlasting, and Cats. He has also arranged music for artists such as Rihanna and New Irish Tenors. Upcoming Broadway projects include Kimberly Akimbo and the revival of 1776.

Andrew Resnick (Music Director & Arrangements) is a Broadway music director, pianist, and conductor whose credits include The Cher Show, The Bridges of Madison County, Peter and the Starcather, The Book of Mormon, The King and I, War Pain, and Wicked. Other credits: Far from Heaven, A Civil War Christmas, and Sycamore Trees. He has music directed solo concerts for Jonathan Groff, Kelli O'Hara, and Betsy Wolfe, and often serves as Patti LuPone's pianist. He is currently composing a musical adaptation of The Giver with Jonah Platt. Education: Yale University.

Meet the Cast

Jovanni Sy (Chojun Miyagi) makes his U.S. stage debut at STAGES. He is an award-winning actor, director, and playwright whose work has been seen across his native Canada and overseas. Favorite acting roles include Frederick in Noises Off (Arts Club, Vancouver); Pulitzer in Newsies The Musical (TUTS); Torvald in A Doll's House (Theatre du Pif, Hong Kong). Jovanni also played lead roles in the Canadian premieres of The Great Leap and King of Yees (National Arts Centre, Ottawa). Favorite directing credits include Blackbird, God of Carnage, Antigone, and Closer than Ever. Favorite playwriting credits include Nine Dragons, A Taste of Empire, and The Five Vengeances. Current projects in development include: Salesman in China (Stratford Festival); The Tao of the World (Citadel Theatre); and Kowloon Bay (Vertigo Theatre).

John Cardoza (Daniel LaRusso) recently completed his run with the original Broadway cast of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill and is thrilled to be bringing The Karate Kid to the stage. His other regional credits include The American Repertory Theater, The Old Globe, and Theaterworks Hartford (Connecticut Critic's Circle nomination - Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in Next to Normal). He received his BFA from the Boston Conservatory. John has performed a series of solo concerts and has plans to release his own original music in the coming year.

Kate Baldwin (Lucille LaRusso) is a two-time Tony and four-time Drama Desk Award nominee. Broadway: 2017 revival of Hello, Dolly! (Irene Molloy), Big Fish (Sandra Bloom), 2009 revival of Finnian's Rainbow (Sharon McLonergan), Wonderful Town (Helen Wade), The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie. Off-Broadway: Giant (Leslie) at The Public, John & Jen (Jen) for Keen Company, Superhero (Charlotte) at Second Stage (Lortel Award nomination). TV: NBC's "Law & Order: SVU," PBS's "Live from Lincoln Center: Stephen Sondheim's Passion," and the Disney + series "Just Beyond." Solo recordings: "Let's See What Happens," (Broadway Records) "She Loves Him." (PS Classics) Graduate: Northwestern University.

Alan H. Green (John Kreese) Broadway credits include: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, School of Rock, Sister Act, Play On! Original Cast Albums include his Broadway shows as well as: Broadway Bounty Hunter, Freaky Friday and Carols for a Cure. First National Tours: 25th Annual...Spelling Bee, Swing!, Smokey Joe's Cafe. International: Miss Saigon (sung in German). TV: "Almost Family," "Unforgettable," "Murphy Brown," "30 Rock," "Peter Pan Live!," "Law & Order: SVU," "The Guiding Light," and lots of National Commercials. Awards: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical (Berkie), Best Performer in a Streamed Musical (BroadwayWorld). BA in Vocal Performance from Rice University. Board Member and Associate Artist at Barrington Stage Company. Deacon at Metro Baptist Church in Hell's Kitchen, NYC. But of all his roles his favorite is definitely that of Uncle to his twin nephews Aaron and Alan.

Jake Bentley Young (Johnny Lawrence) is making his STAGES debut. Regional: Newsies The Musical, Hello, Dolly!, Singin' in the Rain, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma; Big the Musical, Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts; Generation Me, New York International Fringe Festival. Other credits: Speech and Debate, Little Women, Texas State University. Jake holds a B.F.A. from Texas State University.

Jetta Juriansz (Ali Mills) is an LA-based actor, singer, and comedian. She is a winner of the Diversity Scholarship at The Groundlings, performed in LA's Just for Laughs Character Showcase, and was a cast member for 6 seasons on the sketch comedy TV show "Studio C". Also known for Hulu's "pocket.watch Challenge Squad" and the Funny or Die series "Glowing up Fast". Jetta is also a trained comedic writer for Harmon Brothers and has toured with the musical improv show Johnson Files. Her original music can be found on all streaming platforms. She is extremely passionate about intersectional, POC, and womxn-driven storytelling. Represented by DDO Artists Agency, LEWK Management, and Daniel Hoff Agency.

Luis Pablo Garcia (Freddie Fernandez) is a 19-year-old first generation Cuban-American and Miami Native. Luis-Pablo graduated from New World School of the Arts High School in 2020 and made the move to St. Louis just a few short months ago. Alongside his acting career, he is also pursuing a business degree. He is delighted to be making his debut with STAGES St. Louis and hopes to build a solid foundation within its tight knit community.



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