DAVID SONENBERG DEVELOPING ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING “WHEN WE WERE KINGS” INTO MUSICAL
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
MUSICAL VERSION OF THE ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING FILM
“WHEN WE WERE KINGS”
New York, NY (November 29, 2018) Producer David Sonenberg is bringing a musical version of his Academy Award winning film “When We Were Kings”, about the now-legendary 1974 Muhammad Ali/George Forman fight held in Zaire, Africa, to the stage. The book for the musical, adapted from the film and written by Shelley Marcus. The songs for the musical are R&B classics from the 1974 Zaire music festival, with the exception of “Rumble In The Jungle”, which was written by The Fugees for the film. A workshop is scheduled for the spring of 2019 with plans for a full stage musical production the following year.
“Muhammad Ali was called ‘The Greatest of All Time’ for good reason”, says Sonenberg. “Ali went toe to toe with everyone from Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier to Howard Cosell, Norman Mailer and The Supreme Court of the United States. Ali remains an undeniable cultural icon. Not only was he an extraordinarily gifted athlete, poet, spiritual and political leader, but he was certainly one of the most charming, disarming, controversial and electrifying personalities of all time.
Centering on one of the most talked-about boxing matches of all time, characters featured in “When We Were Kings” include Ali and Foreman, along with Don King, Stokely Carmichael, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, Howard Cosell, Miriam Makeba, President Mobutu and more. The cast for the musical will include portrayals of James Brown, B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters, The Spinners, Bill Withers, Celia Cruz, and The Fania All Stars who performed at the music festival which took place just before the fight in Zaire.
“The details of Ali’s life are as relevant today as they were 45 years ago,” says Sonenberg. “Ali’s story, as depicted in ‘When We Were Kings’ fuses sports, music, dance, politics, race and culture in a way that should be compelling to a broad global audience.”
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