Part of the Next Link series, performances will take place Sept. 25-Oct. 1 at 37 Arts Theatre, 450 West 37th Street.
The cast includes Stephen Booth, Angela Al, David Girolmo, Nicholas Kohn, Philip Solomon, W. Wong, Kevyn Morrow, Shannon Stoeke, Daniel Therrien, A.J. Ocampo, Ann Burnette Mathews, and Christine Hudman.
Journey to the West is adapted from the novel, Xi Yu Chi (Journey to the West), the sixteenth-century, four-volume, one-hundred chapter, masterpiece, depicting the mythological legend of a monk from the Tang Dynasty traveling the Asian continent to transport original Buddhist scriptures to China. Co-writer Robert Taylor, after living in China for three years and reading it in its original text, collaborated with writer and Cirque du Soleil conductor, Richard Oberacker, to bring the story into an inclusive, universal context.
The salvation of mankind hinges on the monk’s challenge and mission of battling and overcoming harrowing trials and tribulations. The drama is relayed within a lush and grand sensory experience. Journey is the only musical theatre production to incorporate elements of Peking Opera, Kabuki Theater, puppetry, masks, and Martial Arts while mixing traditional ethnic and world musical traditions with modern rock, pop and techno sounds in its storytelling. In addition to salvation, themes of purpose, love, and redemption are at the core of this reinterpretation.
“Journey welcomes and invites the audience to witness a grand and all-encompassing experience," co-writer Richard Oberacker said in a statement. "The most urgent of quests is at the core of the production and one that does not limit itself to any ideology, culture, or theology. If an individual discovers that his/her life purpose is to save mankind, what stakes could be higher?”
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2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival website