10.22.2013

Cole Horibe is Bruce Lee in David Henry Hwang's Kung Fu

So You Think You Can Dance star will play the martial arts icon in Signature Theatre's dance biopic.



This is pretty cool... Dancer Cole Horibe, best known as a contestant on the Fox reality competition So You Think You Can Dance, will star as international martial arts icon Bruce Lee in the Signature Theatre's upcoming world premiere of David Henry Hwang's new play Kung Fu: So You Think You Can Dance Star Cole Horibe to Channel Bruce Lee in David Henry Hwang's Kung Fu

The play -- previously described as a "dance-ical" -- is a portrait of Bruce Lee's journey from troubled Hong Kong youth to martial arts legend, blending dance, Chinese opera, martial arts and drama. Does Cole Horibe have the chops to portray the larger-than-life legend on the stage? David Henry Hwang seems to think so:

"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."
Kung Fu, directed by Leigh Silverman, runs February 4 through March 16 in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City. Here is the Signature Theatre's full press release:
Signature Theatre's KUNG FU to Feature So You Think You Can Dance Star Cole Horibe as Bruce Lee

Signature Theatre (Founding Artistic Director James Houghton; Executive Director Erika Mallin) is pleased to announce that Cole Horibe ("So You Think You Can Dance") will play the role of Bruce Lee in the World Premiere of David Henry Hwang's new play KUNG FU, 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 will go on sale December 3. I think I'm going to make some plans to be in New York in February.