April 6, 2023

The Monkey King, a theatrical and movement filled play with a script written and translated by Shen Pei and her brother – runs March 12-14, and March 19-21 at the Performance Space at Neighborhood House at Wellstone Center, 179 Robie Street East, St. Paul.The Monkey King is based on the classical Chinese story: Journey to the West. If you think Superman or Spiderman has been around a long time, think about the Monkey King – China’s favorite magical, mischievous superhero for the past five centuries.

In this classic tale, the Monkey King is up to no good. The Jade Emperor sends his armies to capture the Monkey King, but the wily Monkey escapes and ends up in a showdown with Buddha himself.

They make a bargain. If the Monkey wins he can rule heaven and earth. If not, he does whatever Buddha tells him to do. He loses, and thus begins his adventures on earth. This production features traditional Chinese movement and martial arts.

The action comedy was first written for Minnesota Children’s Theater and is written and translated by Shen Pei – the former CAAM Chinese Dance Theater Artistic Director – along with her brother.

Julie Lingling Ha Truong co-directs with Mishia Edwards and Benjamin Lacina producing. The costume design is by Deb Murphy, and Set/Light Design by Benjamin Lacina.

Truong is part of Young Artists Initiative that works with metro area youth ages 8 to 18. She also worked with YAI in 2007 on the production of Mulan, Jr.

The cast features Hien Huynh as the mischievous Monkey King. Kim Jade performs as the Demon. Paige Moy, Lauren Moy, Elizabeth Bender and Rachel Forseen are dancers.

Performances will be held March 12 at 7:30 p.m., March 13 at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m., March 14 at 2:00 p.m., March 19 at 7:30 p.m., March 20 at 2:00 and at 7:30 p.m., and March 21 at 2:00 p.m.

General seating tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors/students.

Seating is general. Purchase on-line at www.youngartistsmn.org, by phone at 651-222-KIDS (5437) or at the theater.

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