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Gorillaz’s ‘Monkey’ Musical Swinging Over to Lincoln Center

damon albarn, gorillaz, monkey: journey to the west

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. Watch a trailer for the show up top.

Other productions scheduled for Lincoln Center Festival 2013 include Sinéad O’Connor: The Gospel Sessions, in which the Irish songstress dabbles in soul gospel music; and Zorn@60, a celebration of avant-composer John Zorn’s work that’s pegged to the virtuoso’s 60th birthday.

Tickets for all Lincoln Center Festival events go on sale to the general public on April 8. Scroll down for a full schedule of Monkey: Journey to the West performances.

Monkey: Journey to the West @ The David H. Koch Theater:

July 6 @ 8 p.m. (preview) 
July 7 @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (previews)
July 9 @ 8 p.m. 
July 10 @ 8 p.m. 
July 11 @ 8 p.m.
July 12 @ 8 p.m.
July 13 @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 
July 14 @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 
July 16 @ 8 p.m. 
July 17 @ 8 p.m.
July 18 @ 8 p.m.
July 19 @ 8 p.m.
July 20 @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
July 21 @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
July 23 @ 8 p.m.
July 24 @ 8 p.m. 
July 25 @ 8 p.m. 
July 26 @ 8 p.m. 
July 27 @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 
July 28 @ 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.