Ralph Macchio surprises “Karate Kid”-themed festival in Atlanta

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The Karate Kids: Ralph Macchio with Eli Banks of Twinhead Theatre, one of the actors who took on the role at the Atlanta Fringe Festival. Photo: Courtesy of Atlanta Fringe Festival

The Atlanta Fringe Festival held a unique fundraiser performance over the weekend, called “Five Fifths: A retelling of ‘The Karate Kid’,” where five acting troupes each tackled a section of the classic 1980s movie and performed it live. Guess who showed up? The original Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio.

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“Everybody lost their minds,” said performer and marketing manager Chris Alonzo, also a playwright, musician and producer. Planning for the event, produced by Twinhead Theatre, began some time ago, long before anyone realized Macchio would be in Atlanta. He’s here for “Cobra Kai,” a YouTube Red series that continues the “Karate Kid” narrative.

“A few days ago, word got around to us that Ralph and the crew of ‘Cobra Kai’ were aware of our show, but we shrugged it off,” Alonzo said. But dang if they didn’t all show up.

“He signed autographs, gave hugs, took pictures with the cast – total gentleman,” Alonzo said. A dozen other members of the production attended as well – including producers Josh Heald, Steve Pink, and Matt Lottman, all of whom made the winning bids on the artwork we had for sale by local Atlanta artists. In addition, Ralph showed up with an autographed headband to lend to our silent auction. It goes without saying that we were over the moon.”