Thursday, July 10, 2008

Puppets. Puppets? Puppets!

It's been a very puppet-y couple of weeks for me. It started at Ontological-Hysteric Incubator production of La Santa: Pistola y Corazon by Sintroca, an "Image Based Performance Company". I'm not 100% sure what makes a production company image based, but I do know Innovative Theatre when I see it. The show was an engrossing mixed-media event blending live music, dance, Raymond Chandler film noir, world languages and…puppetry. I liked it a lot and look forward to their next stage creation.

Summer, in general, brings me back to the best parts of my otherwise depressing suburban childhood. The summer of 2002, I arrived at the O'Neill Playwright's Conference approximately a week after Avenue Q had taken the Music Theater Conference by storm. Two summers later, I listened to "Fine, Fine Line" about 1,000 times to get over a painful break-up. When, earlier this summer, I caught their touring company's visit to Charm City Cakes on Ace of Cakes, I was amazed by the show all over again.

I loved IT Award recipient Basil Twist's work on Carrie, starring Sherry Vine, at PS122 and have come to believe that puppets are a brilliant way for OOB to save money. They are the ultimate in elaborate, interactive props AND dual role casting without an extra costume. Every efficiency-minded troupe should seriously consider "hiring" them.

And, of course, "three makes a meme" so tonight, I head way out west for Ars Nova's Jollyship The Whiz-Bang. Puppets ahoy!

Hillary Cohen, New York Innovative Theatre Awards Development Manager

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