Spoleto 2008 » Theater

Wayang Modern: Shadow Puppet Theatre & the New Music Collective

Geoffrey Cormier's Wayang Modern sets traditional Indonesian shadow puppetry to modern storytelling

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What is it? Geoffrey Cormier's Wayang Modern sets traditional Indonesian shadow puppetry to modern storytelling coupled with a psychic constitution that one might say, with all fairness, is a little bit unhinged.

Why see it? During a fund-raising performance for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art last December, Cormier's production, which featured original Bali-inspired music by Nathan Koci of the New Music Collective, had a segment called "Who Does the Sun Shine For?" In order to avoid spoiling things, let's just say it involved a gaggle of happy dancing flowers who have a very, very, very bad day. The flowers return for their Piccolo debut, as does a wonderfully languid piece called "Waltz of the Sea Children" with music by New Age philosopher Walter Russell, who liked to wax profound about the "existence of mind," play the organ, and figure skate.

Who should go? Those who support local artists doing local productions for locals. And do it well. Cormier is that par excellence. The New Music Collective, which also provides music for PURE Theatre's astounding production of Amy Ruhl's Eurydice, is also worth every penny you spend on Piccolo. They are a treasure.

PICCOLO SPOLETO • $10 • 1 hour 15 min. • June 4 at 6 p.m. • New Tabernacle Fourth Baptist Church, 22 Elizabeth St. • (888) 374-2656

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