Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pirate Puppet Musicals, Wundelsteilpen, and Rock Bands-- Oh My!

Four years ago, when we were just interns together and barely knew one another, my friend Gabriella kept raving about a pirate puppet musical, telling me we had to see it together. Pirates! Puppets! Songs! She couldn’t stop telling me about how we had to see this show. But, unfortunately, by the time I got around to buying my ticket, the show was already sold out.

Apparently, I missed out. The show was Nick Jones’s Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, a fantastical show with music and puppets on the high seas. Evidence in the video below:

Therefore, when I heard about Nick Jones’s latest show, The Wundelsteipen (and Other Difficult Roles for Young People), as a part of The Flea’s new play festival, I knew that we had to go. And while not a musical per se (though there are 2 particularly well-timed songs), this manic, hilariously irreverent night on shorts is well worth the price of admission. Promising mystical creatures (sometimes incredibly profane--wait until you find out what a Wundelsteipen is), strange ruminations on youth, and even a couple of puppets, these shorts explore themes of adolescence, mythology, and sexuality in a fast-paced series of skits. The Bats, The Flea’s resident group of young actors, was especially well-used here, blending modern sensibilities with epic characters and loftier philosophic ideas. To give a brief idea, the trailer for the show is below:

Another missed opportunity on my part in the last week was having to miss The Peripherals, a new musical performance piece playing downtown at Dixon Place. Due to an unexpected sickness, I was unable to attend the performance that I had tickets to, but I do have to say that it sounds pretty awesome. Conceived by Obie Award-winning Talking Band, the show is described as a "play in the form of a rock concert" and tells the stories of characters on the periphery. Also, a guest band plays an unannounced set in the lobby before each performance, so you get 2 shows in one. If anyone makes it out to see any of the shows left in their run (The Peripherals plays until 5/19), please leave a comment or let me know how it was! Definitely curious about this one.

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