Monkey: Journey to the West is a fast-moving explosion of creativity from the artistic minds of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett (co-creators of Gorillaz). Albarn was also in Blur. But you knew that already.
Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and adapted for the stage from a 16th Century Chinese novel of the same name (written by Wu Cheng'en and considered one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature - no big deal), this grand spectacle of a show features crazy animation (remember, these are the Gorillaz guys), Chinese acrobats, martial artists, contortionists, singers, lights, sights and sounds and then it's over. Can your senses hang the whole time? I think they can.
The ancient story is about five fantastical characters (The Monkey King + Pigsy + Tripitaka + Sandy + The Dragon Prince) on a quest for the holy scriptures in India. Along the way, there's danger and bad guys and misfortune and murder and awakening and redemption and rebirth. But really, the story must be seen to be fully understood (at one point, though, The Monkey King turns into a bee, which is swallowed by Princess Iron Fan, Monkey is then able to defeat her from... within her. Monkey then grabs her magical fan, which is the only thing that can be used to extinguish... a volcano... whoa).
Monkey: Journey to the West is being performed in New York City for the very first time at Lincoln Center Festival. The show runs July 6 - July 28th.
You should go. It may open some doors in your mind that you never knew you had. And if not that, well, at least you know the music is going to rule. Did I mention this is from the Gorillaz guys? I believe I did.