Friday, March 24, 2006

only the shadows know

I have been very busy. I am narrating a folktale with shadow puppets and live music. I get to act like a witch and an angry glowing skull and a virginal Russian peasant beauty and a perky talking doll. I am glad I quit smoking, though I smoked in Austin and now I think I'm getting sick. I think the guy who makes the scenery for my troupe may be related to the Fabulous Baker Boys, and the guy who made the puppets and plays classical guitar is a Conspiracy of Beard. Please come -- it seems like everyone's going to attend the Gilman show next weekend, which makes me think that the Lobot show this Saturday and the one at Sam and Katy's (the very nice stand-up bass player and puppeteer couple) this Sunday will be woefully underattended, if attended at all. That said, please come to one of them if you can. Any one would be fine.


Teatro Penumbra Presents
Vasilisa the Beautiful
a shadow puppet production

What do you get when you combine an abusive stepfamily, a child-eating witch, some Shostakovich, a dancing hut, and enough borscht to feed ten hungry men? Vasilisa the Beautiful, a dramatic folktale bearing some resemblance to the classic Cinderella, but with a definite Slavic flavor -– its featured ogre, Baba Yaga, is a staple of that region’s myths and fairytales, a wild woman of the forest and mistress of magic. And for this production, folk songs will be sung in their original Russian.

Vasilisa will be staged by Teatro Penumbra, a new shadow puppetry troupe which grew from Quelque Fois, the company that brought Carmen and Daedalus: Master Craftsman to the East Bay in 2005.

The Band: Mary Dougherty (violin), Sam Hoffman (upright bass), Jesse Jackson (guitar)
The Puppeteers: Gabriel Bridges, Sean Mooney, Christina Shaheen, Katy Wafle, Jessica Way
The Narrator: Stefanie Kalem
The Singers: Sarah Hipkins, Ellie Johnson, Erin Lashnits

Script and direction by Jesse Jackson
Music arranged by Mary Daugherty
Puppets by Jesse Jackson and Jessica Way
Sets by Gabriel Bridges

The Shows:
Sat. 3/25 Lobot Gallery, 1800 Campbell St., West Oakland, 8 p.m., donations requested, sock puppets open up
Sun. 3/26 Sam & Katy's, 839 55th St., Oakland, 7 p.m. (house party, most likely sans kid n' play)
Sun. 4/2 924 Gilman, Berkeley, 5 p.m., variety show featuring music by Raum and Ula, and short films, $4


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