Mike Lai is a showman: At the Legendary Lions vs. the Fists of Fury, he presides over five sets of battles between traditional kung fu and filmic kung fu, among many other things -- with a bunch of lion dancers thrown in -- all set to the beats of Skins and Needles. But primarily hes an artist: While the Legendary Lions are made up of local groups like Leung's White Crane Dragon and Lion Dance Association and Ben's Shaolin Kung Fu Lion Dance Team, the Fists of Fury are made up of the most famous lethal weapons in cinematic history, the original fists of fury, the undisputed champions of martial arts in all the imaginations of all the people in all the nations of all the world: Bruce Lees disembodied hannnnnnds. Or, rather, his fists. Just his fists, very oversized, with a scrap of Lees iconic black-striped yellow jumpsuit. Mike Lai wants to crack you up, clearly, but hes also probing deftly into themes like pop culture vs. traditional culture, the real Lee vs. fantastical Lee, and tradition vs. showmanship. Lais been working over Lee for years, riffing on Uma Thurman in Kill Bill and pitting Bruce Lees against a crew of superheroes at Washington Square in 2007. Expect a good fight.
Fri., Feb. 26, 7 p.m., 2010