by John Stoehr
It's a place that's neither here nor there. Not real and not unreal. Among the present and the then and the later. That's the terrain that 1927, the theatrical cabaret company, explores in Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. We saw its opening last night. Devil a thrilling show that plays with conventions of silent film, pantomime, and cabaret. It plays with comic sensibilities and the whole notion of what's real and what's not.
Devil is like a dream in which you are dreaming of a movie, but you've managed to put yourself in the movie, something that you know isn't real, but in the unreal reality of a dream, it becomes real. That's frightening, but it's not what you expected. You thought you knew what reality was. Until now. And now that reality is turned upside down, what was once funny is sinister and what was once sinister is now funny.
The devil in question (that's the devil to the right with a helicopter strapped to his back) is a nominal cinematic character not to be taken all that seriously, but is to be taken somewhat seriously. He can materialize from a puff of smoke and turn your head into that of a pig or a rooster. Then he'll disappear just as quickly in another puff of smoke. But that's after he casts a spell on a gaggle of geese, whom you are kindly feeding with old crusts of bread, to devour you.