An opening night is set for Jan. 15. Soul centers on a boy raised by monks to become a Shaolin kung fu master, according to the trade. This marks the first time the People's Republic of China will play producer on Broadway.
A cast of 33 Chinese artists is expected. The production will play the Marquis between engagements of Irving Berlin's White Christmas (closing Jan. 4, 2009) and 9 to 5: The Musical (starting previews April 7, 2009).
Through its affiliate, Nederlander New Century (the first foreign joint venture approved by the Chinese Ministry of Culture to participate in theatrical presentation and theatre management), Nederlander Worldwide recently presented 42nd Street in China. (For the record, Broadway Asia and Troika Entertainment were the first producers to tour a show through mainland China, offering The Sound of Music in 2004-05.)
Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, founded and managed by Robert Nederlander, Jr., a member of the third generation of the Nederlander entertainment family, has been involved in a variety of live entertainment projects including the expansion of the Nederlander operations into China, the development of an Off-Broadway theatre circuit and various theatrical production projects. Nederlander New Century has established a circuit of first-tier legitimate theatres in major cities throughout China including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Hangzhou, Ningbo and other major Chinese markets for the purpose of presenting a series of world-renowned Broadway musicals.
In February 2008, Chinese and American cultural partners presented The Dream of the Red Chamber — The Dance, a theatrical dance event celebrating the Chinese New Year, for a New York City premiere at the Rose Theater in the Time Warner Center. It was presented by Shanghai City Dance, Ltd., Shanghai International Cultural & Communication Association and Eastern Shanghai International Cultural Film & Television Group in association with Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, LLC.