Yazbek Prepares 'Bruce Lee' Martial Artist Musical for Broadway

A musical based upon the life of martial artist Bruce Lee is headed for Broadway, with music and lyrics by Tony nominee David Yazbek (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).

Yazbek, in an interview with AP Radio's Broadway Correspondent Jane Waldman, said "the show is in the beginning stages. But we are now moving ahead.  I am now experimenting with various Chinese instruments and David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) is writing the first draft."

This musical will be based on the life story of the iconic martial artist and movie star, who appeared in classic kung fu films such as Enter the Dragon before dying young in 1973 at the age of 32.   Yazbek told AP Radio, "90% of the cast will be Asian. Most will be dancers and acrobats, although there will also be Western characters in the musical."

The Bruce Lee show will be directed by Tony nominee Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, Awake and Sing!) and will be produced by Elephant Eye Theatricals. It is expected to bow on Broadway during the 2009-2010 season after an out of town engagement. "Stuart Oken, our producer, has come up with some very interesting ideas for the show and we are looking forward to it coming to Broadway," Yazbek said.

The Bruce Lee musical will have an out of town try out in Seattle, according to Yazbek and may even go to China.

Yazbek can be seen performing at Lincoln Center's American Songbook 2008 series on February 9.  He will be singing songs from his new album "David Yazbek: Evil Monkey Man."

David Yazbeck (photo by Ben Strothmann)

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