Gorillaz ‘Monkey: Journey to the West’ Production Heading to Lincoln Center

For the moment, new music from Gorillaz doesn’t seem likely — Damon Albarn and Gorillaz animator/co-creator Jamie Hewlett are on the outs right now — but one of the pair’s projects is about to see a stateside resurgence.

Monkey: Journey to the West, a theater production that features music by Albarn and animation and design from Hewlett, is slated to open this year’s Lincoln Center Festival, according to the New York Times. The production, which originally premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2007, will be staged 27 times at the David H. Koch Theater, from July 6 to 28. The show played in South Carolina’s Spoleto Festival USA in 2008, but this run of performances will mark Monkey’s New York debut.

“It sold more tickets than any other single event in the 36-year history of Spoleto,” Nigel Redden, the Lincoln Center Festival’s director, told the Times. “But it’s never been in New York and to some extent, many artists feel their work has not premiered in the U.S. until it has premiered in New York.”

Monkey: Journey to the West is based on a 16th century Chinese folk tale about a monk’s journey from China to India as he searches for sacred Buddhist scriptures. The 100-minute program, conceived and directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, combines traditional theater with cartoons, acrobatics, and martial arts. An official soundtrack was released in 2008.

Read more: Spin

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