April 17, 2006


CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON musicalShowbiz is breaking out all over. Chinese actors are chipping the crud off their tap shoes, scraping the green mold from their leotards, and shaking the roaches out of their dance belts as they prepare to audition for the cavalcade of stage entertainment that's about to be unleashed on the world.

The planet will be free of brightly-colored, fashion forward martial arts movies for two years while Zhang Yimou takes a break after CITY OF GOLDEN ARMOUR in order to direct the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Steven Spielberg is the creative consultant, which means that he's the guy who decides where the obligatory version of "We Are Family" goes.

"All of us are dedicated to making this Olympic opening and closing ceremonies the most emotional ever seen," Spielberg says. And what expresses emotions better than a medley of disco hits?

Japanese actors needs not feel left out since Don Gregory is preparing an April 2007 Broadway musical called "The Flying Tigers" about the American Air Corp that defended China from Japan in WWII. So any Japanese who feel like singing a song called, "Banzai! I Hate Freedom!" should start practicing now. The musical also contains many opportunities for actors and technicians to get crushed by scenery since Gregory wants to portray dogfights onstage. He's counting on American companies in China to chip in the $20 mill budget, and since the musical is about Americans defending China from Japan and an American pilot romancing a Chinese lady doctor expect Chinese people to rally around this portrayal of themselves as a nation of surrender monkeys and comfort women.

David Henry Hwang and (maybe) David Bowie (!) will be providing marque name-power for a Bruce Lee musical in 2008. But no one does it like the Weinsteins who are embroiled in a suit with Columbia over who gets to make a CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON musical. Which is a little like kids on a playground fighting over who gets to eat the freshest pile of dog poop. Apparently, the Weinsteins have an agreement for the "Crane Iron Pentatology" of five novels written by Wang Du-lee. But then one of Wang's family made an agreement with Columbia giving them the rights. It looks pretty cut and dried since the Weinsteins got it in writing and Columbia only got it oral, so after a protracted legal battle expect to see sequels to CT, HD and the inevitable musical.

April 17, 2006 at 10:10 AM in News | Permalink


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