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|A CurtainUp Review
2000 Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, a CurtainUp Report
By David Lipfert and Elyse Sommer
(Editor's Note: Some shows will be over or almost over by the time we can post the reviews. However, a number of them will be travelling to other parts of the country)
Reports On Shows We've Seen (additions throughout the month):
Street of Blood|Salomé|A Prelude to Faust|Short Stories & Hand Shadows|Hunchback|Two Tales From Japan| Three Tales by Poe-Der Signal|The Girl Who Waters Basil & the Nosy Prince|Stowaways
An Overview of the Festival
An Overview of the Festival
It's time for the Henson Foundation's bi-annual puppet festival. This will be the fifth edition for New York audiences, who get a three-week immersion course in this most creative of performing arts. What's on tap?
Try 26 different theater groups at 10 venues, exhibits of puppets, lectures, and post-performance discussions with the puppeteers. US companies are balanced with international groups. The celebrations last through September 24th, and ticket prices are affordable. Just what puppet theater is depends on what show you see.
Hand and rod puppets can conjure up childhood memories of toy theater, but the themes may be very much intended for adults. Body puppets -- the kind that have actors inside -- aren't limited to the brightly-colored, benign animals on public TV. The companies in this festival are all on the cutting edge of creativity, so expect to have your idea of puppets expand accordingly.
Theater of Light promises a spectacular show of painted images courtesy New Yorker Rudi Stern. Canadian wiz Robert Lepage is branching out to include puppets for the first time in The Far Side of the Moon. For truly small scale try Women's Songs from Russia. Traditional bunraku puppetry will be on view at Japan Society with Two Tales from Japan. Not to be left out, there are marionettes aplenty in Gustav and his Ensemble. Finally, puppets go high tech in Theater of the Ears.
All the aboves is not to say that there aren't plenty of offerings that kids will enjoy. Four companies are specifically intended for younger audiences, and a few more shows will be OK as well. The Mikushi with African masks at New Victory Theater should be a hit. Short Stories is back from the last edition of the festival-you can see the enchanting miniatures of Hugo & Ines with Hand Shadows from India. Our Review
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Festival Schedule Details.
For fuller details see the Festival Website at http://www.hensonfestival.org
(All phone numbers are 212/):
THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON (Ex Machina/Robert Lepage - Canada) September 7-10. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400).
STREET OF BLOOD (Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes - Canada) September 6-24. New York Theater Workshop, 79 E 4th Street bet. Bowery/2nd (780-9037) Our Review
STOWAWAYS (Compagnie Philippe Genty - France) September 19-24. The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave at 19th Street (242-3800) Stowaways
GUSTAV AND HIS ENSEMBLE (Albrecht Roser - Germany) September 6-10. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400).
SNUFFHOUSE DUSTLOUSE (Faulty Optic - UK) September 6-16. P.S. 122, 150 First Avenue at 9th Street (477-5288)
SALOMÉ (Hanne Tierney - New York) September 7-16. Danspace Projects, 131 E 10th Street at 2nd Avenue (674-8194). Our Review
A PRELUDE TO FAUST (Michael Sommers - Minneapolis) September 6-10. HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Avenue (647-0202) Our Review
WOMEN'S SONGS (White Goat - Russia) September 7-17. HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Avenue (647-0202)
PSYCHE (Mettawee River Theatre Company - New York) September 6-10. The Kitchen, 512 W 19th Street bet. 10th/11th (255-5793)
HUNCHBACK (Redmoon Theater - Chicago) September 12-17. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400). Our Review
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FOR KIDS AND ADULTS
HAND SHADOWS/SHORT STORIES (Prasanna Rao/Teatro Hugo & Ines - India/Peru) September 13-18. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400).
NIGHT BEHIND THE WINDOWS (Janie Gieser & Co. - Los Angeles/New York) September 12-17. La MaMa E.T.C., 74A E 4th Street bet. Bowery/2nd (475-7710)
ASSEMBLAGE OF SOULS (The Cosmic Bicycle Theatre - New York) September 13-17. HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Avenue (647-0202)
TWO TALES FROM JAPAN (Otome Bunraku - Japan) September 13-16. Japan Society, 333 E 47th Street bet. 2nd/1st, (752-3015) Our Review
THEATER OF THE EARS (Valère Novarina/Allen S. Weiss/Zaven Paré - France/US) September 13-24. La MaMa E.T.C., 74A E 4th Street bet. Bowery/2nd (475-7710)
ECHO TRACE (Heather Henson - Orlando) September 21-24. HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Avenue (647-0202)
MILLENNIUM AUTOPSY (Tang Shu-wing - Hong Kong) September 20-24. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400).
THE GIRL WHO WATERS BASIL & THE NOSY PRINCE (Teatro de las Estaciones - Cuba) September 20-24. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400). Our Review
EVERYDAY USES FOR SIGHT: NOS. 3 AND 7 (Dan Hurlin - New York) September 20-24. The Kitchen, 512 W 19th Street bet. 10th/11th (255-5793)
THREE TALES BY POE/DER SIGNÀL (Puppetsweat - New Haven) September 19-24. La MaMa E.T.C., 74A E 4th Street bet. Bowery/2nd (475-7710)
THEATER OF LIGHT (Rudi Stern - New York) September 12-23. La MaMa E.T.C., 74A E 4th Street bet. Bowery/2nd (475-7710) Our Review
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(Late Night Cabaret at P.S. 122 - US/International) September 8-23. P.S. 122, 150 First Avenue at 9th Street (477-5288)
FOUR SPECIFICALLY FOR KIDS
THE MUKISHI (Batoto Yetu - Angola/Portugal/US) September 15-24. The New Victory Theater, 209 W 42nd Street bet. 7th/8th (382-4000)
HOLLEBOLLEBEER (Damiët Van Dalsum - Holland) September 9-10. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400).
SLEEPING BEAUTY (The Paul Mesner Puppets - Kansas City) September 16-17. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400).
SIMPLE GIFTS (The Cashore Marionettes - Pennsylvania) September 23-24. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place (260-2400).
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