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Symphonie Fantastique: Basil Twist’s innovative abstract puppet concert returns to HERE!

You can say that Harriet Smithson, a famous Shakespearean actress, is the star of the Symphonie Fantastique by composer Hector Berlioz; she is also in a way the star of the Symphonie Fantastique by MacArthur Foundation “genius” artist Basil Twist—although in the Berlioz, Harriet exists only as flirtatious notes from violins and a flute, while in the Twist, she’s a bed sheet. Or, more precisely, she looks like a white bed sheet, but she’s actually a puppet, one of the many puppets in Twist’s show, none of them conforming to any recognizable animal or vegetable or even mineral….The twentieth-anniversary production of Twist’s innovative abstract puppet concert is being presented at HERE, the theatre where it debuted in 1998 to great acclaim.

 

Full article on HowlRound

 

 

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Mabou Mines Fiddles with Tennessee Williams: Pics, Review of Glass Guignol

In its forty-seventh year, Mabou Mines is inaugurating its first permanent home, the ninety-nine-seat Mabou Mines Theater in the East Village, with a newly devised piece called Glass Guignol: The Brother and Sister Play, a riff on Tennessee Williams that presents passages from four of his plays, most prominently The Glass Menagerie. But to summarize the piece in such a straightforward way fails to capture the elusiveness of the work by this celebrated avant-garde theatre company. Glass Guignol makes the recent, critically bludgeoned, experimental The Glass Menagerie directed by Sam Gold on Broadway feel like a production for the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

Full review on HowlRound

Made in China: Review and Pics of Bawdy Political Puppetry

Wakka Wakka, the theater company behind Made in China, says the show is “inspired by true events.” I suspect the true part doesn’t include Mary and her neighbor getting sucked down her toilet and winding up in the People’s Republic of China, where a dragon eats them.

This puppet musical – equal parts surreal fantasy, bawdy romantic comedy, barbed political satire, and hilariously inventive visual spectacle — does include at least one true event, sort of. In a verified story that occurred in 2012, a New York shopper discovered inside the packaging of the boots she bought from Saks Fifth Avenue a handwritten note from someone seeking help, because he said he was a captive in a Chinese prison factory.

Full review at DC Theatre Scene