Christmas came early this year – at least in China – with premiere of I Was Marbury, a musical about the life and times for former NBA star/Coney Island legend Stephon Marbury.
Why are we so excited? Did we mention that Marbury stars in the play?
Yes, Starbury takes his nickname to its next logical step, singing and dancing through a production inspired by his journey from washed-up NBA athlete to championship catalyst for the Beijing Ducks. After wrapping up his professional career with an ignominious stint on the Boston Celtics’ bench, Marbury took his talents to the Chinese Basketball Association, where he quickly became a huge star, making $2 million a year, winning two CBA titles and being viewed as a hero, rather than an egomaniac (even though he’s in a musical about himself).
If you haven’t heard about the I Was Marbury – which may actually be called I Am Marbury – this New Republic piece can bring you up to speed. There’s also brand-new footage from the first Chinese performance earlier this week. It’s incredible.
From what I can gather, the show’s plot is pretty simple. It’s about a couple of street musicians from Beijing who are trying to make it big in the big, bad music industry. They encounter many obstacles along the way. It’s an everyman story aimed directly at the hearts of dreamers. Where does Marbury fit in? Well he doesn’t, really…at least not until the grand finale, where, as the Republic explains: “Marbury is less a character in the show than an idea, i.e., that underdogs can triumph.”
I need that on a T-shirt. And that’s not even the best part. There’s apparently a line towards the end of the show that goes “I am Marbury. You are Marbury. We are all connected.”
Namaste. It doesn’t matter what sport you follow – or if you even like sports: Those words exist in a sold-out musical. Marbury contains multitudes. Need more proof? Here are some moments from opening night.
The Part Where He High-Fives Everyone
The Part Where He Fist-Bumps a Dude in a Tennessee Tuxedo
The Part Where He Grabs His Crotch For Five Minutes
The Part Where He Forgets How to Dribble
The Part Where He’s a Wizard