The plan came together faster than a few expertly delivered kung fu moves — and it’s the most excited that Mark Anastasio, director of special programming at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, has been about an event in a very long time.

For two nights in September, RZA — real-name Robert Fitzgerald Diggs — a founding member of the legendary New York hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, will perform live scores at the Brookline venue during showings of “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin,” the 1978 martial arts film that served as inspiration for the group.

“We do a lot of cool things here,” said Anastasio, who has worked at the Coolidge for more than a decade. “But this is certainly a career highlight.”


Anastasio said it’s long been on the theater’s wish-list to get the noted producer, rapper, and director to bring his audio-visual performance, “RZA: Live from the 36th Chamber of Shaolin” — in which he provides the soundtrack to the martial arts flick, from opening to closing credits — to the area.

But pulling it all together always felt slightly out of reach.

“It always seemed like this unattainable gig,” he said in a telephone interview, “something so big that we could never bring it to Boston.”

Several months ago, however, the opportunity to carry out that fantasy finally presented itself.

In April, a colleague of Anastasio’s at the Hollywood Theatre, in Portland, Oregon, successfully brought RZA to the venue to perform for crowds, as the Lau Kar-leung-directed martial arts classic played on screen.

With the help and endorsement of staff from the Portland theater, Anastasio got in touch with the folks handling RZA’s public engagements, and managed to book the rapper for an East Coast appearance.

“We were off and running from there,” Anastasio said. “It came together fast.”


RZA will perform two shows at the Coolidge, on Sept. 20 and 21. The first performance has already sold out, and tickets for the encore performance are going quickly.

During the events, Anastasio said people can expect everything from “drum machines to keyboards and a baby grand piano” to be played, as characters from the film appear on screen and the epic fight scenes unfold.

“The award-winning musician, film composer, and director will be using a Wu-Tang catalog over two decades deep, as he drops beats from opening scene to closing credits, to amplify the action,” a description on the theater’s website says.

Anastasio added, “these are the beats from all of the Wu-Tang records that RZA produced, but being played in a way that works for a kung-fu fight scene.”

Following the shows, RZA will stick around and talk more about music, martial arts, and the history of the Wu-Tang, during question-and-answer sessions with attendees.

The first night will be moderated by music writer Brian Coleman, author of “Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies.”

Chris Faraone, editor of DigBoston and founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, will guide the discussion on the second night.

Anastasio said the choice of moderators was deliberate.

“RZA specifically wanted people with deep hip-hop knowledge to be conducting these conversations with him,” he said.

For Faraone, chatting with RZA will mark something of a homecoming. The seasoned hip-hop writer compiled the liner notes for a special vinyl edition of the group’s 1993 debut album, “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers),” a project done in collaboration with the rapper that was released in 2016.


He’s looking forward to continuing that conversation.

“It’s always an incredible honor to travel down memory lane with him — RZA has a remarkable ability to recall people and events,” Faraone said in a message to the Globe. “I will definitely be picking up on some of the loose threads that came up in our extensive interviews.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.