Innvar, Wong Among Players in NYC Reading of Bruce Lee Musical by Hwang, Yazbek and Sher

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14 May 2009

B.D. Wong
B.D. Wong
The new Broadway-aimed musical, Bruce Lee: Journey to the West, charting the life and career of the late martial-arts film star, will get a private industry presentation in Manhattan May 21, Playbill.com has learned. Tony Award winner B.D. Wong, of M. Butterfly, is in the cast, as is Christopher Innvar of Broadway's 110 in the Shade.

The show is targeted for a Broadway launch in 2011. The producers are Elephant Eye Theatrical (Stuart Oken, who is also a partner behind the new Broadway-bound musical The Addams Family) and Broadway Asia (Simone Genatt).

The presentation is the culmination of a three-week dance lab and an Equity 29-hour reading process.

Bruce Lee: Journey to the West "follows the martial arts legend's difficult road to success, as he's guided by a powerful ally: The Monkey King, a beloved and playful warrior god from Chinese mythology."

Expect the role of Bruce Lee to be played by a young newcomer.



As previously reported, direction is by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, Awake and Sing!, The Light in the Piazza, Joe Turner's Come and Gone), music and lyrics are by Tony Award nominee David Yazbek (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty) and the libretto is by Tony Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, the new Flower Drum Song).

Choreography will be created by Dou Dou Huang, the artistic director of the Shanghai Song and Dance Ensemble.

The May 21 reading cast also includes Raymond Lee, Qian Yi, Christopher Larkin, Hoon Lee, Angela Ai, Haven Burton, Maryann Hu, Christian Delcroix, Minglie Chen, Hao Jiang Tuan and Marcus Choi.

The dance company includes Emmanuel Brown, Spencer Liff, James Brown III, Ramon Flowers, Matthew Branham, Sean Watkins, Joilynn, Rumiko Oyama and Jennifer Savelli.

Musical direction is by Jim Abbott.

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Bruce Jun Fan Lee (1940-1973) was a San Francisco-born Chinese martial artist and film actor revered as a cultural icon by the Chinese — and by American fans who had never before been exposed to the kinetic, balletic, violent world of Chinese martial arts. He played Kato on the short-lived TV series "The Green Hornet." His films include "Fist of Fury," "Way of the Dragon," Enter the Dragon," "Game of Death" and more.