As photos and details emerge ahead of tonight’s premiere in Beijing, it’s becoming clear that "I Am Marbury" is very much a Stephon Marbury type of play – it’s flashy, it’s a bit self-absorbed, a bit tone-deaf, but it means well. It's less "based on" than a "full blown worship” of the former NBA player’s life, turning Marbury’s much publicized eccentric beliefs into a way of life.
The New Republic’s Christopher Beam had the chance to attend a rehearsal and revealed some plot details:
"In the final scene of 'I Am Marbury,' the new Chinese musical based on the life of Stephon Marbury, Stephon Marbury delivers a soliloquy about Stephon Marbury. But it’s not just about Stephon Marbury: 'I am Marbury,' he intones. 'You are Marbury. We are all connected.' After each line, a chorus of Chinese actors repeats the sentence in Mandarin. He goes on: 'I am a champion. You are a champion. But it was all yesterday. We will never stop working hard. We will never be satisfied. We will always keep moving on.'"
Beam reports that, as the story – about two Beijing street musicians who must persevere and hurdle life’s obstacles to make it – is currently constructed, Marbury doesn’t appear until the very end. But according to photos from the Weibo account of the play’s lead, it seems that the Coney Island native will be doing a dance routine.
This might seem a bit much here in the US, but over in China, fans are eating it up, as tickets to the first three nights have reported sold out.