Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yay. Puppets.

There's something about highly skilled and successful professional puppeteers that makes them loath to entertain in their off-hours. I don't know- maybe it's all the jumping up and down with brightly covered felt for a living, making children watch and adore and want to cuddle the thing at the end of your arm. Maybe it instills a deep-rooted desire to be boring. All I know is, when I go to see a micro-budgeted puppet act put on by a moonlighting kid's TV stalwart, I always end up watching a couple of solemn sticks make their way across a screen an inch a minute.*

So yeah, went to see some puppets at Links Hall last weekend and it happened again. The first and last bits of the show were, respectively, dull/too long, and somewhat hypnotic/endless. The middle program was almost a winner- a sci-fi fable about a lady-like accordion-thing who gave birth to eggs, and a bellowsy science-thing who grew eyeballs on a tree. It had a great goth-gaslight-punk look. Most impressively, these weird faceless objects became people- weird little people who move in counter-intuitive, funny and distinctive ways. Excellent work by demented imp Jana Zeller. It could be a perfect little bit of grotesquerie if it had an ending. As it is, the piece just stopped.

A different and more raucous puppetry program is playing this coming weekend at Links Hall. I would say- go see it. Because you know you love puppets enough to risk a tingly butt.

*Sample size: three or four shows. Not scientific, but jeeze.


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