I ran into Monkey director Chen Shi-Zheng yesterday as I was walking by the Sottile Theatre. He was smoking a cigar on the steps of the backstage exit. He was taking a break between segments of a rehearsal that focused on the music and getting the sound just right. I asked him how things are going. He told me to see for myself and pointed to the backstage exit. I spent the next half hour or so watching cast members get theirs mics checked. It wasn’t all that interesting, but I did get an idea of what the Monkey actor is like. He’s rascally and roguish, just as I’d hoped he’d be. Normally getting access like this is a lot harder for a journalist. You have to go through the gatekeepers (i.e., PR flacks and so on). Not this time. It’s one of the serendipitous joys of Spoleto in Charleston.