When Bruce Lee was born, his mother gave him a girl's name to disguise him from evil spirits. When actor/performing artist Soomi Kim learned this surprising fact, she felt destined to create a theatre performance inhabiting the incomparable martial arts superstar. Set in the inner landscape of Bruce Lee's mind the moment he died in 1973, Lee/gendary is a theatrical deconstruction of an icon; a spiritual and psychological examination of Lee's life from birth to death. This unique gender-bending theatre performance fluidly integrates text, live original music, video and an explosive hybrid of martial arts and dance. Lee/gendary's efforts are the result of a dedicated collaboration with Kim. This group of talented artists includes: writer Derek Nguyen, director Suzi Takahashi and composer/vocalist Jen Shyu with additional recorded music by Adam Rogers. This piece features Kim as Lee as well as 5 other actor/martial artists. Lee/gendary was a part of The First National Asian American Theater Festival held in New York City which ran June 11 - 24, 2007. It then ran for 3 weeks at HERE Arts Center's mainstage, October 2008. This run garnered 6 New York Innovative Theater Awards and 3 wins.
*See video clip from Lee/gendary here (part of the Asian America interview)
NYITA NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Lighting Design (Lucrecia Briceno), Outstanding Director (Suzi Takahashi), Outstanding actress in a lead role and Outstanding Choreography (Soomi Kim, alongside Airon Armstrong for choreography), Oustanding actress in a featured role (Constance Parng) and Outstanding Production of a Play (company).
WINS: Suzi Takahshi: Outstanding Director, Constance Parng: Outstanding actress in a featured role. Soomi Kim and company: Outstanding Production of a Play.
*All photos from the FNAATF by Steven Schreiber