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The Forbidden Phoenix

The Forbidden Phoenix

Book and lyrics by Marty Chan; Lyrics and music by Robert Walsh

Playwrights Canada Press

Sun Wukong’s goal is simple: to feed his son Laoson. Known to his people as the Monkey King, Sun Wukong leaves his home with a promise to return one day and feed the drought-ravaged city of Jung Guo.


Sun Wukong's path, however, becomes a test of strength, agility, and character as he comes face to face with mysterious, enchanting, and heartless creatures. Inspired by the Chinese opera, The Forbidden Phoenix’s lyricism brings us to a world where Chinese parables are woven with the painful history of the immigrant men who suffered greatly to build Canada’s railroad in the 1800s. Playwright Marty Chan and composer Robert Walsh create a musical rife with stylized characters, lending itself to a performance brimming with acrobatics, slapstick, and martial arts.


Marty Chan lives in Edmonton where he has built acclaim as a playwright, children’s author, and for his work in radio and television. Chan has acted as the first playwright-in-residence at the Citadel Theatre, and taught playwriting at the University of Alberta.


Robert Walsh is an award-winning singer-songwriter, producer, guitarist, musical director, and composer/arranger. As an artist, Robert has released four CDs: Walk Through the Fire, No Time Like This Time, Robert Soul by Robert Walsh and the Fabs, and Hybride by Franco-Albertan roots group Allez Ouest, of which he is a member. The Forbidden Phoenix is Robert’s third time as a co-creator of musical theatre. Other musicals include Catalogue de société (Alain Pomerleau, playwright) and The Velvet Devil (Andrea Menard, playwright). Robert teaches songwriting at Grant MacEwan University.

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