“I was Marbury” is a Chinese play about Stephon Marbury and starring Stephon Marbury. Back in August, we previewed the play and listed 5 awesome moments from Starbury’s life that probably wouldn’t end up in the play but should be. The reason why I said they wouldn’t is because it would probably make the play to over-the-top and bizarre. Then I saw footage of opening night and I can honestly say it looks awesome, I want to see it and nothing shocks me about Starbury anymore.
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.”
At this point in the speech—at least the version I saw during a recent rehearsal at the MasterCard Center in western Beijing—Marbury paused and looked at the ceiling. He’d only seen the script a few days before, and he hadn’t quite finished memorizing his lines. “Something regarding hope? New goals?” suggested his co-star, the Chinese-American comedian Mike Sui. That rang a bell. “We have new goals every day,” Marbury continued. “It is going to be a long journey. Along this journey, we are happy. I have one word for you guys: ding zhu!” With this—the phrase means “stand up!”—he pumped a fist in the air, and everyone started dancing and dribbling basketballs to an aggressive metal club track.