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'When We Were Kings' As A Stage Musical? Yes, Says Producer Of The Documentary

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 4, 2012 at 9:44AM

Trying to picture this, but the image just isn't clear enough...
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Rumble in the Jungle
Rumble in the Jungle

Trying to picture this, but the image just isn't clear enough...

Producer David Sonenberg is reportedly developing a musical version of When We Were Kings, the Oscar-winning 1996 documentary about the so-called Rumble in the Jungle, the 1974 boxing match in Zaire between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.

Sonenberg was the producer of the documentary, by the way.

"The story fuses music, sports, dance, politics, race and culture in a way that should appeal to a broad, pan-generational audience," he said, adding that the cast of this stage musical adaptation will include all the notable players who also appeared in the doc,, like Don King, James Brown, Norman Mailer, Mobutu Sese Seko and George Plimpton, and of course Ali and Foreman.

The musical's score will incorporate songs from the era, which were also featured in the movie, like tracks from James Brown, B.B. King, the Pointer Sisters and Bill Withers, as well as some even older music. 

Sonenberg says he plans to incorporate music into the story "in ways that are more naturalistic than in traditional musical-theater fare, while still ensuring that the songs are integrated into the emotion of the story."

He's shooting for an Off Broadway run (at least, at first) with the sow opening sometime in 2014, or even sooner.

Picture Ali floating like a butterfly and stinging like a beed while belting out a tune.


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