The martial arts, coming-of-age drama The Karate Kid has become something of a beloved cult classic since its release in the early 1980s. After several sequels and one reboot, the movie is ready to return once again, only this time as a Broadway musical. The writer of the original, Robert Mark Kamen, will be putting pen to paper once again, to turn his story of Daniel-San and his mentor and best friend Mr. Miyagi into a toe-tapping, crane-kicking event.
Kamen will be joined by Drew Gasparini, with the latter providing the music and lyrics for the production, which comes from Kinoshita Group, Kumiko Yoshii and Michael Wolk. This musical based on an 80s movie is all set to be directed by Amon Miyamoto, with choreography to be provided by MTV VMA nominees Keone and Mari Madrid. Set design will be in the capable hands of Tony winner Derek McLane, who previously bought Moulin Rouge! to life on Broadway.
Kamen has been discussing the upcoming musical adaptation of a hit movie, which he describes as being ‘beyond his wildest dreams’.
“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.”
The production’s director, Amon Miyamoto, is equally as excited, saying that the story of The Karate Kid is exactly what we all need in these difficult times.
“Many people love Broadway musicals for ‘escape’ – but I love them because they provide insight into how we should live our lives. 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.”
Producer Kumiko Yoshii added this.
“Our production team is focused on bringing Robert Kamen’s iconic story to a new generation in a way that really speaks to them. Robert’s story is our Bible, but we are reinventing how it is told so that it must be experienced live, in the theater.”
Currently there are no production dates or casting information available. This exciting news come to us from Deadline.