Robert Mark Kamen & Drew Gasparini Are Developing THE KARATE KID for Broadway
Kinoshita Group, Kumiko Yoshii, and Michael Wolk announced today simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles that The Karate Kid is being developed for Broadway as a new musical. Based on the smash hit Columbia Pictures motion picture, and featuring a book by the film's screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen and music and lyrics by Drew Gasparini, The Karate Kid will be directed by renowned Japanese director Amon Miyamoto and choreographed by MTV VMA nominees Keone and Mari Madrid.
The Karate Kid hit cineplexes in 1984, it became an instant cultural phenomenon earning rave reviews and racking up nearly $100 million at the box office. Featuring now-iconic performances by Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, and Elisabeth Shue, that original film spawned a media franchise that includes a total of five films, an animated television series; and YouTube Premium's "Cobra Kai," which is currently in production on its third season. It's also widely credited with popularizing karate in the United States.
In a statement, Robert Mark Kamen said, "On June 13, 1982, my daughter Alessandra (Ali with an i) was born. Two days later when she arrived home from the hospital, I sat down with her in one of those little rocking cradles at my side, and began to write The Karate Kid. A year later, in October of 1983, principal photography began. A year after that, in June of 1984, exactly two years after I wrote the script, the film was in theaters. And there it stayed for nearly six months. Five sequels and two television shows later, amazingly the characters and the story still resonates with audiences the way it did when the film first was released. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this little movie would reach across generations the way it has. And beyond my wildest dreams did I think what started out as a love letter to my devotion to Okinawan Karate and the man who taught me would become a full-blown Broadway musical. But here it is. Here I am. And here is hoping that what comes to the stage brings the same joy and relevance The Karate Kid has brought to countless kids and their parents for the past 35 years. Go figure."
"Many people love Broadway musicals for 'escape' - but I love them because they provide insight into how we should live our lives," commented director Amon Miyamoto. "I was inspired to do a stage adaptation of The Karate Kid because it tells a story we need in this on-going 'Age of Division' as our society becomes increasingly globalized. The sweet contradiction of The Karate Kid is that the real nature of karate is, as the show says, 'not for attack.' Not to hurt, not to win, but to let opposing energies play out and come in grace to a conclusion that allows dignity and respect for all. I'm excited to show this dynamic with a visual and movement style unseen on Broadway. I want to introduce a new generation to this powerful story - through the immediate, visceral spell a good musical can cast through theatricality, music, and dance."
"Our production team is focused on bringing Robert Kamen's iconic story to a new generation in a way that really speaks to them," said producer Kumiko Yoshii. "Robert's story is our Bible, but we are reinventing how it is told so that it must be experienced live, in the theater. And it's been a pleasure to see how excited Robert is watching The Karate Kid take on new life through the contributions of Amon and the blossoming talents of our composer Drew Gasparini and our choreographers, Keone and Mari Madrid. Amon has directed musicals and operas throughout Asia, Europe and America, but as someone who lived for years in Okinawa, The Karate Kid is uniquely personal for him. He loved how The Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi brought an Okinawan sense of spirituality and respect for nature into popular culture, and he is thrilled to be able to share the story anew with a completely fresh take for Broadway."
The Karate Kid will feature set design by Tony® and two-time Emmy Award® winner Derek McLane. Additional information, including production dates and casting, will be announced at a later date.
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