One Minute World Arts- The Karate Kid: The Musical

In June 2022, the musical The Karate Kid, adapted from a 1984 movie of the same title, was presented at the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center, located just outside St. Louis, warming up for its future run at Broadway. The screenplay of the movie was written by Robert Mark Kamen on the basis of his personal experience. After its release, the movie became very popular with audiences worldwide; its commercial success then led to sequels and spin-offs, among which is the 2010 eponymous film that stars Jackie Chan.


The story of The Karate Kid focuses on Daniel, a teenager who has just moved to Los Angeles with his mother, and soon come into conflict with a bully and his gang; luckily, Mr. Miyagi, the handyman of Daniel’s apartment complex who happens to be a Karate master, comes to rescue and teaches Daniel Karate. The unlikely friendship between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi that often suggests a father-son relationship and the eye-catching training, fighting scenes have made the martial art movie a classic. Unlike the movie that places Daniel as the central figure, the musical of The Karate Kid gives more weight to the characterization of Mr. Miyagi. According to Kamen, it is crucial to “peel away the layers of the onion and see beneath the surface of characters.” Meanwhile, the music and songs in the production, composed and written by Drew Gasparini, features the combination of 80’s pop, rock, as well as some Okinawan elements, such as a sanshin, through which the characters’ inner voices can be explored in depth. In addition, dance numbers created by the very talented husband-wife choreographers Keone and Mari Madrid also add colors to the musical, combining Karate movements and hip-hop to give the audience a feast of visual pleasure.




今年6月,改編自80年代 同名賣座電影的音樂劇《小子難纏》(The Karate Kid,率先在聖路易附近的柯克伍德表演藝術中心(Kirkwood Performing Arts Center)登場,為之後入駐百老匯公演進行暖身。這部由勞勃馬克凱曼(Robert Mark Kamen)根據自身經驗編寫而成的電影,在1984年上映後,深受觀眾喜愛,取得票房上的成功,因而衍生出續集和其他相關的影視作品;其中,由成龍 主演的《功夫夢》,也是以這個故事為原型。


《小子難纏》的劇情,描述主角丹尼爾(Daniel)在搬到洛杉磯後遭受欺凌,所幸遇到來自日本的宮城先生出手相救,因而開啟自身的空手道習武之路;丹尼爾與宮城先生間情同父子的深誼,以及穿插於電影中的精彩打鬥場面,造就出這部歷久不衰的功夫片經典之作。相較於電影著重在男主角丹尼爾的成長歷程,《小子難纏》音樂劇則對師父宮城先生有著更加深刻的描繪;凱曼表示:「你得像剝洋蔥一樣,一層一層剝開角色的內心世界。」至於音樂方面,作詞作曲的德魯加斯帕里尼(Drew Gasparini)不僅融合了80年代的流行音樂和搖滾樂,同時也加入些許沖繩音樂 的元素,例如三線琴,並且透過歌曲深入探索角色的性格。此外,由編舞家夫妻檔基奧尼馬德里和瑪莉馬德里所聯編排的舞蹈,結合了空手道與嘻哈的動作,更是讓觀眾備感驚艷的一大亮點。



Photo Credit ©Phillip Hamer Photography, Whitney Curtis