“The Karate Kid - The Musical” will have its world premiere right here in St. Louis, as part of STAGES St. Louis’ 2022 season. The limited, pre-Broadway engagement will begin performances at STAGES St. Louis, an Arts and Education Council grantee, on Wednesday, May 25 and run through Sunday, June 26, 2022, at The Ross Family Theatre at The Kirkwood Performing Arts Center.

Arts and Education Council grantee STAGES St. Louis has 35 years of exceptional accomplishments in advancing the art of musical theatre in St. Louis. In 2020, STAGES Executive Producer Jack Lane and Artistic Director Michael Hamilton were awarded a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award at the Arts and Education Council’s St. Louis Arts Awards. At the time, Lane shared his excitement about the new Kirkwood Performing Arts Center, “I know there are a lot of my New York buddies that want us to use the space as a tryout for new works.” STAGES continues their demonstrated commitment to excellent musical theater this time by putting St. Louis on the map as a gateway to Broadway.

“We are truly honored to be squarely between the crossroads of Tokyo and New York City and telling this universal story of understanding and acceptance,” STAGES Executive Producer Jack Lane said. “We cannot think of a better show to help launch not just STAGES, but the St. Louis region, as a brand-new pre-Broadway tryout destination.” 

“The Karate Kid” is based on the smash hit Columbia Pictures film, with a book by the movie's screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen and music and lyrics by Drew Gasparini. When The Karate Kid hit movie theaters in 1984, it became an instant cultural phenomenon earning rave reviews and racking up millions of dollars at the box office. Featuring now-iconic performances by Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, William Zabka, and Elisabeth Shue, that original film spawned a media franchise that includes a total of five films, an animated television series and the hit television series “Cobra Kai” with many actors reprising their original film roles.

One of the production’s producers Kumiko Yoshii shared, “The continued dedication and energy on this project, led by our director Amon Miyamoto from Japan, fighting through the pandemic is an example of what has made ‘The Karate Kid’ such an iconic cultural cornerstone. We are honored to begin the journey at STAGES St. Louis next spring.”

In addition to renowned Japanese director Amon Miyamoto the creative team for the musical will also include choreography by MTV VMA nominees Keone and Mari Madrid. “The Karate Kid” will feature set design by Tony® and two-time Emmy Award® winner Derek McLane, costume design by award winning Ayako Maeda, lighting design by two-time Tony Award® winner Bradley King, sound design by two-time Tony Award® winner Kai Harada, orchestrations by Outer Critics Circle Award winner John Clancy and music direction and arrangements by Andrew Resnick.

Tickets for “The Karate Kid” will be extremely limited. The best way to secure tickets is to subscribe to the remaining performances in the 2021 Season and renew your STAGES St. Louis subscription for 2022. Or, become a 2022 Season Subscriber in early December 2021. In addition to “The Karate Kid” the season includes “In the Heights” , “A Chorus Line” and a third to be announced musical. Learn more at stagesstlouis.org.

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