Who amongst us hasn’t woken up one Sunday morning and thought, “if only there were a Chinese a sports-themed youth theater event telling the story of Coney Island’s U-Stream fixture turned Beijing Ducks MVP Stephon Marbury”? If you’re the only person on earth who meets that description, you’ll be thrilled to know “China’s first fusion of sports, music, dance and multimedia”, “I Am Stephon Marbury” opens in Bejing this fall. According to the New York Times’ Becky Davis, the show “plans to feature the Chinese Basketball Association’s top cheerleading squad and performers trained to do various basketball tricks. According to the website, other celebrities will make surprise appearances on stage, including Yao Ming.” Please note, however, Marc Berman is not considered a celebrity.
The play, which will run for 11 consecutive nights, centers on the idea that Marbury is a successful Beijing vagabond, or beipiao — a Chinese term typically used to refer to the millions of migrant workers who flock to the capital in search of employment without official Beijing residence permits. The plot follows the story of a musician, a beipiao himself, who arrives in Beijing in search of fame and is inspired to beat the odds by watching Marbury lead the Ducks to their first-ever championship during the 2011-12 season.
Despite its title, the play isn’t a straight biographical account of Marbury’s life, but rather a parable about pursuing one’s dreams. Though Marbury will play himself in the production, the show’s official site warns that he will appear only in a limited number of scenes because of his inexperience with acting and inability to speak Mandarin.