Pat Morita & Ralph Macchio in “The Karate Kid III”
(Alamy Stock Photo)
Wax on, wax off! The Karate Kid, a new musical based on the 1984 martial arts drama which spawned three sequels and legions of fans, will have its world premiere at Stages St. Louis next year. The previously announced Broadway-aimed musical features a book by The Karate Kid screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen and music and lyrics by Drew Gasparini. Renowned Japanese director Amon Miyamoto is set to helm the production that will run from May 25, 2022 through June 26 at the Ross Family Theatre at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center. Casting will be announced later.
“Karate teaches that if you treat people with inner strength, humility, and the spirit of harmony, there will be no conflict,” said Miyamoto in a statement. “It’s a message that I think we need to hear even more now than we did in 1984, and I am so excited to have the chance to modernize and musicalize this beloved story for what will be the world’s first karate action musical. My deepest hope is that our work resonates with audiences all over the world, spreading the ideas of acceptance and inclusion—which are the opposite of division.”
A semi-autobiographical tale based on the experiences of writer Kamen, The Karate Kid follows teenager Daniel LaRusso, who is taught to defend himself in a tournament against his bullies by the wise Mr. Miyagi. The films starred Ralph Macchio as Daniel and Pat Morita (in an Oscar-nominated turn for the first film) as Mr. Miyagi.
The Karate Kid will feature set design by Derek McLane, costume design by Ayako Maeda, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Kai Harada, orchestrations by John Clancy and music direction and arrangements by Andrew Resnick. MTV Video Music Award nominees Keone and Mari Madrid will co-choreograph.