Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu Stars SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s Cole Horibe as Bruce Lee

Cole Horibe

Cole Horibe

Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s new play Kung Fu stars “So You Think You Dance”‘s Cole Horibe as Bruce Lee, directed by Leigh Silverman. The production runs February 4 through March 16, 2014 with a February 24, 2014 opening night in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues). Tickets will go on sale December 3, 2013. All tickets for the initial run of the production are $25 as part of the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access.

David Henry Hwang said of Cole Horibe’s casting: “Obviously, a huge challenge inherent in Kung Fu was finding an actor who could credibly portray martial arts icon Bruce Lee. It was my wife, Kathryn, who first saw Cole on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Knowing I was writing this show, she excitedly called me over. Cole’s electrifying martial arts and dance performances immediately riveted me. He shared Bruce’s charisma and even resembled him physically. Later, in his auditions for Kung Fu, he brought the same raw talent to his acting that he’d shown so brilliantly in his dance. We feel incredibly blessed to have found in Cole a star who can bring a legend to life.”

An exhilarating portrait of international icon Bruce Lee’s journey from troubled Hong Kong youth to martial arts legend, Kung Fu blends dance, Chinese opera, martial arts and drama into a bold new theatrical form. This World Premiere production follows Lee in America as he struggles to prove himself as a fighter, a husband, a father, and a man.

Kung Fu will reunite Horibe with “So You Think You Can Dance”‘s Emmy Award-nominated Sonya Tayeh, who is providing choreography for the production.

The creative team also includes Dou Dou Huang (Specialty Choreography), David Zinn (Scenic Design), Anita Yavich (Costume Design), Ben Stanton (Lighting Design), Darron L West (Sound Design), Darrel Maloney (Projection Design), Du Yun (Composer), Deborah Hecht (Vocal and Dialect Coach), and Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith (Cultural Consultants). David H. Lurie is the Production Stage Manager. Casting by Telsey + Company.

To purchase tickets for all Signature Productions, call the Signature Theatre Box Office (212-244-7529) or visit signaturetheatre.org.

Tickets to the initial runs of all Signature Productions at The Pershing Square Signature Center are $25, part of the groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, a program that guarantees affordable and accessible tickets to every Signature production through 2031. Serving as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible by lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation. Additional support provided by Founding Sponsor Time Warner Inc., Margot Adams, the Ford Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Hwang’s plays include Bondage, The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Award nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Award nomination), FOB (1981 Obie Award), Golden Child (1997 Obie Award, 1998 Tony Award nomination), M. Butterfly (1988 Tony Award, 1989 Pulitzer Prize finalist) and Yellow Face (2008 Obie Award, 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist). Hwang also wrote the libretti for three Broadway musicals: Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Disney’s Tarzan, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song (revival, 2002 Tony Award nomination). As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, In opera, his works include four pieces with composer Philip Glass – 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, Icarus at the Edge of Time, Sound and Beauty, and The Voyage – as well as Howard Shore’s The Fly, Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (Opernwelt 2007 World Premiere of the Year). Hwang penned the feature films Golden Gate, M. Butterfly, and Possession (co-author), and co-wrote the song “Solo” with Prince. Mr. Hwang has been honored with the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, the 2012 Asia Society Cultural Achievement Award, the 2012 China Institute Blue Cloud Award and the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. From 1994-2001, Mr. Hwang served by appointment of President Clinton on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He currently sits on the boards of the Dramatists Guild, the American Theatre Wing, the Lark Play Development Center, and recently became President of Young Playwrights Inc.

David Henry Hwang Articles:
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
Signature Theatre’s Revival of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Set for Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, May 9-12, 2013
Photos: David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Opening Night at Signature Theatre
Photos: Partying with the Cast of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child; Extended Run Ends December 16, 2012
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, Jennifer Lim and Leigh Silverman at WNYC’s The Greene Space
Filmmaker Justin Lin Acquires Film Rights to David Henry Hwang’s Critically Acclaimed Broadway Comedy Chinglish
David Henry Hwang Set as Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season
David Henry Hwang to Receive 2012 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Nothing is Sacred in David Henry Hwang’s Comedy of Mistaken Racial Identity
Francis Jue, At Home on the Stage
The Making of the Flower Drum Song Cast Album
Flower Drum Song, An American Story
The Literary Legacy of C.Y. Lee
Click here for more articles on David Henry Hwang.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: Denise Burse, Michael Genet, Doug Eskew, Tracie Thoms, Sakina Ansari-Wilson and More Celebrate Marcus Gardley’s dance of the holy ghosts Opening Night at Center Stage
National Black Theatre Festival Photos: Backstage with André De Shields, Marie Thomas, Erin Cherry, Sean Phillips and Morocco Omari in Knock Me A Kiss
Photos: André De Shields, Mary Zimmerman, Akash Chopra, Richard M. Sherman, Kevin Carolan, Larry Yando, Nehal Joshi and More Celebrate The Jungle Book Opening Night at Huntington Theatre in Boston
Oct. 5-Nov. 17: LTC3/Lincoln Center Theater’s World Premiere of JC Lee’s LUCE Features Olivia Oguma, Marin Hinkle, Neal Huff, Okieriete Onaodowan and Sharon Washington
Photos: Backstage Q & A with Thom Sesma and the cast of Signature’s Miss Saigon
Photos: Backstage with Michi Barall and the cast of Regina Taylor’s stop.reset. at Signature Theatre
Photos: Opening Night of Will Power’s Fetch Clay, Make Man with John Earl Jelks, Richard Masur, Nikki M. James, K. Todd Freeman, Ray Fisher
Febone1960.net Review: Power Play Powerful & Suspenseful
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season Features New Works by Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2013 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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