The Karate Kid musical now has a premiere date. As mentioned by Paybill, the musical will debut at Stage St. Louis on May 25, 2022, with a run through June 26 at The Ross Family Theatre at The Kirkwood Performing Arts Center. The Karate Kid musical is produced by Naoya Kinoshita of the Kinoshita Group, Kumiko Yoshii, and Michael Wolk and is expected to be on Broadway soon.
Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote the screenplay for The Karate Kid film, lead the creative team for the musical adaptation. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think this little movie would reach across generations the way it has,” Kamen said in January 2020. “And beyond my wildest dreams did I think what started out as a love letter to my devotion to Okinawan Karate and the man who taught me would become a full-blown Broadway musical. But here it is. Here I am. And here is hoping that what comes to the stage brings the same joy and relevance The Karate Kid has brought to countless kids and their parents for the past 35 years. Go figure.”
There has been a version of The Karate Kid to make its way on the New York Stage. In 2004, an unauthorized parody called It’s Karate, Kid! The Musical had a short run that featured Tony nominee Andrew Rannells. His stint on the musical was one month before his Broadway debut in Hairspray.
The Karate Kid franchise has seen a rebirth due to the Netflix series Cobra Kai. The show first debuted on YouTube in 2018, and the first two seasons aired on the video platform. Season 3 was shown exclusively on Netflix, and the fourth season will premiere this December.
Cobra Kai is a sequel to The Karate Kid films and tells the story from the point of view of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Down on his luck, Johnny runs into Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) who owns a car dealership chain in the area. Not happy with Daniel’s success, Johnny brings back the Cobra Kai Dojo to not only get back at his foe but to also help a teenage boy, Miguel (Xolo Mariduena) stand up to bullies at his school. This ultimately leads to Daniel bringing back Miyagi-Do, and the rivalry that started over 30 years ago is back.