Sunday, January 13, 2013
Bruce Lee the musical
After two years of laying the groundwork with coproducer Hongming Wang, Robert Vicencio, Filipino-Australian actor-producer, will mount “Ip Man the Musical.” The musical comes on the heels of two popular movies on martial arts legend Ip Man, renowned as the mentor of Bruce Lee. Vicencio acknowledged that the original “Ip Man” movie, starring Donnie Yen, sparked the world’s interest in the martial-arts master and his legacy. “People wanted to know more about the teacher who inspired Bruce Lee. Ip Man, however, was more enigmatic compared to his famous student,” Vicencio told the Inquirer in an e-mail interview. Vicencio and coproducer Wang kept the project under wraps for two years. “We wanted to make sure we had tied up all the loose ends before launching the musical.” (Premiere is set in Singapore in August 2014.) Vicencio and Wang were able to sign up Ip Man’s son, Ip Ching, to join the venture. “Ching will help us delve deeper into Ip Man as a man, teacher and father. We are not adapting the movies… rather, we are creating our own production.” This early, the producers have dubbed the show as an “epic mega-musical.” Envisioned as a sung-through musical, “Ip Man” will be a cross between “Miss Saigon” and “Les Miserables,” Vicencio said. Vicencio played Thuy in “Miss Saigon” for eight years and performed in 10 cities, including London, Singapore, Sydney and Hong Kong.