The spectacular Monkey King a popular musical at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, traveled to Vancouver for shows during the 2010 Winter Olympics through February 27 at the Centre for Performing Arts. The musical had incredible costumes, acrobatics, and rock music which I very much enjoyed. The production featured more than 60 singers, dancers, martial artists, musicians, and acrobats, all set against elaborate sets and engaged in a classic battle of good versus evil.

Some of the known members of the cast include:  Monk Tang Seng – Nie Chong, Porky (a pig) – Jin Xin, Friar Sand – Dong Wang, Skunky – Chen Jiao, Wild Bull King (a bad boy demi-god) – Yu Yang, Iron Fan Queen – Wen Xin, Monkey King – Ma Ru Hai (one of them).

There are 2 parts and I especially enjoyed Act 9 & 10 in the 1st part, since this was the first time I had heard this story, I was a bit lost in the first few acts, midway through the first part I had an understanding of the storyline and was able to enjoy the musical. In the 2nd part there were some great musical numbers and I enjoyed acts 5 & 6.

Inspired by the famous mythological legend Journey to the West written in the sixteenth century, this rock-style Action-Musical Monkey King uses an unprecedented way of handling materials extracted from thousands of pages of a highly complex novel. For this production the script of Monkey King had to be especially efficient in depicting elements that would be most meaningful within the context of this fabulous and beloved tale.

By: Richard Wolak