So you think you can “Kung Fu?”

Article By Ismary Munet
Photo by Juan Marcus

If you have ever wondered how the life of Bruce Lee, from his late teen years to right before his passing away, would ever be told through dance, Chinese theater, and martial arts, then look no further. David Henry Hwang has answered your specifically detailed dreams in his play “Kung Fu.”

Directed by Leigh Silverman and Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh and Emmanuel Brown, “Kung Fu” opened on February 24 at the Pershing Square Signature Center. The play goes through moments in Bruce Lee’s life, personal and professional, and portrays the star’s struggle in becoming the legend that he is known to be.

Cole Horibe, a former contestant on tv’s So You Think You Can Dance, makes his Broadway debut incorporating his “martial arts fusion” style of dance to help bring Lee to life. Speaking in broken English and a heavy accent, brings a realistic portrayal of what Lee sounded like, but also tends to be stereotypical.

In scenes where Lee flashbacks on encounters with his father, ideas of cultural identity and what it means to be a man are challenged, and are continued throughout the play. There are also portions of explaining Lee’s philosophy of “fighting without fighting.” The dialogue in the play may sometimes feel like it’s dragging on, because it isn’t one of the explosive fighting scenes, but it also helps to piece the ideas in the play together.

Different scenes range from early street fights to his future roles and becoming a martial arts instructor.

“Kung Fu” will continue through to March 30. For more information, readers can go to

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