– Original production created by theatre artists from Queens addresses lack of roles for Asian-American female leads –
On Saturday, February 11th and Sunday, February 12th, Queens Theatre presents The Monkey King: A Kung-Fu Musical, an original production by real-life dynamic duo husband and wife team and theatre artists from Forest Hills, Queens, Kimbirdlee and Jonathan Fadner. The Monkey King: A Kung-Fu Musical is based on a legendary mythical figure from one of the greatest Chinese novels, “Journey to the West,” by Wu Cheng’en, but with a twist – the beloved main character is a woman! Kimbirdlee and Jonathan Fadner came up with the idea of changing the gender of the main character after noticing that there were few roles in musical theatre written specifically for Asian-American women.
“I love the world of possibilities of musical theatre. Through this story-telling medium, we explore many genres – rock, jazz, classical, hip hop, folk, and any setting – a barren stage, an opera house, a puppet show, a street corner,” said writer, composer, and music director Jonathan Fadner. “That being said, there are gaping cultural holes in the musical canon. We wrote this empowering show to fill those holes with principal roles for Asian women in musical theatre.”
Don’t miss the adventure as the first-ever female Monkey King battles against Heaven and Earth’s most treacherous foes to save her tribe and achieve immortality. With a cast of memorable characters, a mix of classical and rock music, and kung-fu style choreography – this is an action adventure come to life, a heartfelt and inspiring story perfect for the entire family!
“Writing “The Monkey King A Kung-Fu Musical with Jonathan is my single most meaningful project that highlights my own culture, empowers my world as an Asian woman, and creates much needed opportunities for the Asian theatre community here in New York City and beyond,” said co-writer Kimbirdlee Fadner, who plays The Monkey King.
Tickets for The Monkey King: A Kung-Fu Musical start at $18 each. Purchase 4 tickets for $60 with code 4FOR60. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: https://queenstheatre.org/event/the-monkey-king/. For more details, visit www.queenstheatre.org or call the Box Office at (718) 760-0064.
Queens Theatre no longer requires proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or wearing masks inside the facility, but strongly recommends both. Queens Theatre reserves the right to amend and adjust its policies at any time in response to local COVID transmission levels and requirements by local, state, and federal government agencies. Queens Theatre is proud to offer free at home COVID-19 tests during our box office hours. Community members can come to the Theater Tuesday-Friday between 12:00pm-6:00pm and pick up to 10 or fewer tests. For more information visit https://queenstheatre.org/covid-protocol/.
Queens Theatre is dedicated to ensuring that our programming is accessible. Queens
Theatre’s entrance, all three of Queens Theatre’s performance spaces, and restrooms are
wheelchair accessible. Parking is located directly next to Queens Theatre’s building, and Access-A-
Ride drops off and picks up patrons at the front entrance. ASL Interpretation, Audio Description and Open Captioning is frequently offered at performances – information is on our website.
For more details or questions, email:Access@QueensTheatre.org.
Stay in Touch
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About Queens Theatre
Queens Theatre (QT) is a performing arts center located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. Its mission is to provide high-quality performances and programs that are accessible to the residents of Queens, the most diverse county in the nation. The Theatre’s work reflects and celebrates its community. QT presents dance companies, produces, presents, and develops new works of theatre, family programming, community engagement events and initiatives, and offers a range of education programs onsite, in schools and in senior centers. In 2016, QT launched, and has since expanded, Theatre For All (TFA), a ground-breaking initiative to advance the inclusion of disabled people in the performing arts. Since COVID-19, QT has produced a range of digital programming, as well as outdoor performances in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and at Corona
Plaza. During the 2021-2022 Season, Queens Theatre reopened its doors to the public, and resumed
presenting and producing a range of performances.
About Jonathan Fadner
Jonathan Fadner’s works for theatre have been produced with the National Asian Artists Project, Common Man Musicals, Mr. Finn’s Cabaret at Barrington Stage Company, 23 Elephants Theatre Company, and Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance. His full-length musical “The Unspeakable Act” (Book by Steven Hess, Lyrics/Music by Jonathan Fadner) won “Best of Fringe” in the San Francisco Fringe Festival. Jonathan’s musical “The Monkey King” co-written with his wife Kimbirdlee Fadner, has been performed at the Queens Theatre in the Park, The Actor’s Temple in NYC, Flushing Library, and Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MSTDA) Roosevelt Island. As a Junior version, “The Monkey King” has been performed multiple times in New York and California. Jonathan’s musical “The Ghosts All Around You,” is an annual tradition on Roosevelt Island and was funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
About Kimbirdlee Fadner
Kimbirdlee Fadner is a versatile actor, singer, arts administrator, director, artist, and community builder known for her beautiful tone and incredible range that’s topped off with blazing high notes. As a singing actor with classical and theatrical technical training, she frequently performs musical theatre, dramatic plays and new works by composers and writers in New York City.
In addition to a successful acting career, Kimbirdlee is a Director, Voice Coach, Chinese Brush Painter and Artistic Director of Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance – a Manhattan performing arts non-profit with a dedication toward producing new works for underrepresented populations, providing opportunities for everyone regardless of cultural, socio-economic, ethnic background or age.
Kimbidlee’s theatre credits include The Pajama Game (National Asian Artists Project) and Alcestiad (Magis Theatre Co). She has also appeared on Law & Order SVU, Law & Order Organized Crime, Gossip Girl, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, And Just Like That, Full Circle and more. Her directing credits include Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Children’s Theatre – The Monkey King,Beauty and the Beast, The Wind in the Willows, Into the Woods and Descendants.