by John Stoehr
It occurred to me more than once while watching a dress rehearsal of Monkey: Journey to the West that Monkey scratches, picks, and otherwise prods his balls a lot. That's what it looked like anyway.
The guy who's playing Monkey (I promise to look up his name later) was naturally emulating, or aping if you will, the mannerisms of a monkey — with odd tics and squeals and foolish-sounding staccato peals of laughter and on and on. Among this mannerisms were scratching his head, his chest and what looked like his balls.
Before I had a change to settle into this as being part of Monkey's kinetic personality, I immediately drew a connection between the Monkey and Michael Jackson.
Apologies to director Chen Shi-Zheng. But I eventually got over it. Maybe it was the stylish track suit that Monkey was wearing during dress rehearsal. Maybe it won't be a problem during performances when he's wearing his monkey suit. Unfortunately, I won't be the only one making that connection here in America.