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Meet the characters of Monkey: Journey to the West

The characters of Monkey: Journey to the West are only in NYC for three weeks. When they’re not onstage at the Lincoln Center Festival, what will they be doing?


Monkey King

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Pac-Man dumplings at RedFarm

Photograph: Perry Hu

China Institute


Xi'an Famous Foods


Scandinavia House

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The Cannibal

Photograph: Jolie Ruben


Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Duane Park

Dragon Prince
Photograph: Julienne Schaer

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photograph: Julia Gartland

Body by Brooklyn

One of the highlights of this year’s Lincoln Center Festival, Monkey: Journey to the Westis based on a 16th-century Chinese folktale. But the production, conceived and directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, is totally contemporary. The multimedia spectacle features music composed by Blur’s Damon Albarn, and design and animation by Jamie Hewlett—the pair behind virtual band Gorillaz. Before or after the show, get to know the “cast” a little better, and take their tips for things to do in July in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: All Lincoln Center Festival coverage

Monkey King

Since I’m a master of martial arts, I’ll be sure to catch the USA Shaolin Temple’s fund-raising “Kung Fu Movie Night,” held the first Friday of every month; the flicks are followed by a deejayed party. I’ll adopt a meditative pose while sampling whimsical dim sum creations, such as Pac-Man shrimp dumplings, at the boundary-pushing Chinese restaurant RedFarm.


As a devout Buddhist monk, I don’t want to miss the exhibition “Dunhuang: Buddhist Art at the Gateway of the Silk Road,” at the China Institute through July 21. Afterward, I’ll seek sustenance at Xi’an Famous Foods, which takes its name from the venerable Silk Road city. I may even break my vegetarian vows for the popular cumin-spiked lamb burger.


After my banishment to a river of sand, I was so depressed I started eating people, so I identify with The Scream, one of the angst-ridden works in the exhibition “Munch/Warhol and the Multiple Image,” at Scandinavia House through July 27. Though I’m haunted by my old ways, I still crave meat, so I’ll enjoy feasting at carnivore paradise The Cannibal.


Since I was accidentally reincarnated as a human-swine hybrid, I have an insatiable appetite. That’s why I’ll be heading to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, where I can pig out to my heart’s content. I’ll follow it up with the Saturday-night burlesque show at Duane Park, which includes a three-course feast. And I may even go back for seconds at the Dumbo Smorgasburg on Sunday!

Dragon Prince

I’ll trot over to Brooklyn Bridge Park to admire the sweeping view of Manhattan and pay my respects to my painted cousins at Jane’s Carousel. After a long stroll along the river, I’ll book a relaxing massage with an added reflexology session at Body by Brooklyn. After carrying Tripitaka on my back during our journey, my hooves are aching!