Sher Will Direct Bruce Lee Musical, by Yazbek and Hwang, for Broadway

News   Sher Will Direct Bruce Lee Musical, by Yazbek and Hwang, for Broadway
Bartlett Sher, a Tony Award nominee for his direction of South Pacific, will direct the new David Yazbek-David Henry Hwang musical Bruce Lee: Journey to the West, to be produced on Broadway by Elephant Eye Theatrical.

Bartlett Sher
Bartlett Sher Photo by Team Photogenic

Tony nominee Yazbek (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) will pen music and lyrics for the bio musical about the martial arts movie star, and Tony winner Hwang (M Butterfly, Yellow Face) will write the book.

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

Elephant Eye (which is also attached to the Off-Broadway musical Saved) announced May 19 that Bruce Lee "is targeted for the 2010-2011 Broadway season." It "tells of the martial arts legend's difficult road to success, as figures from Chinese mythology follow his quest and The Monkey King, a beloved warrior god, becomes his heavenly ally. In a show fusing sources as diverse as martial arts, Chinese Opera, modern dance, and pop music, Bruce struggles to master his skills, purify his spirit and forge a link to unite East and West."

Sher's production of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater received 11 Tony Award nominations, including Best Director of a Musical. He won a Drama Desk Award for his direction. He received a 2006 Tony nomination for his direction of Awake and Sing! by Clifford Odets and 2005 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle nominations for his direction of The Light in the Piazza.

Elephant Eye Theatrical was formed by producers Stuart Oken, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions in late 2005. It's a theatrical development and production company dedicated to the creation of new book musicals for Broadway. In addition to Bruce Lee: Journey to the West, EET is currently developing The Addams Family, a new musical based on characters, cartoons and sketches by the legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, with a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (the librettists for Jersey Boys), music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party) and direction and design by Improbable Theater founders Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, who have recently received wide acclaim for their work on the Philip Glass opera Satyagraha at the Metropolitan Opera. EET plans to premiere The Addams Family in the 2009-2010 Broadway season, preceded by an out-of-town tryout. EET is also involved in the Playwrights Horizons production of the new musical Saved, now in previews.

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