|Richard Termine 01, L-R: Basil Twist, Sam Hack and Sarah Provost as Peter, and Karen Kandel as The Narrator|
Below is the review of Mabou Mines’ incomparable Peter and Wendy, from Baristanet (I hope you’ll go there and read the rest!). Video and preview from this blog are here. And you can listen to performer Karen Kandel, and adaptor Liza Lorwin, on last week’s podcast.
This show is one my all-time favorites in theatre. EVER. I’ve seen a lot of theatre over the years.
It perfectly blends the New York (experimental Theatre troupe!) with the Irish (the music, the Scottish story, the mood).
|Richard Termine 03, L-R: Karen Kandel as The Narrator, and Basil Twist, Sam Hack and Sarah Provost as Peter|
Liza Lorwin’s adaptation mixes story theatre, reading from Barrie’s sly, droll prose, with the visual brio that the experimental troupe Mabou Mines is known for. Designer Julie Archer was inspired by pop-up books, and early on in the story we watch as the home of the Darlings, and Nana’s kennel, literally unfold and expand, just like those paper wonders. While Kandel narrates and speaks, characters are moved and embodied by a crack team of puppetteers with veiled faces. Kandel even does the expressive “woof” of Nana. It takes several puppeteers to move the dog nurse around, what with all those legs and ears and tail, and she seems 100% alive. Early on, when the Darlings are mourning the children who’ve hearlessly flown away, Nana wipes a paw on a pillow, sniffs it, and blows her nose on her ears, before howling (Archer designed the set, puppets, and lights). At one point Kandel somehow manages to be both Mr. and Mrs. Darling at once (spinning a bowler hat on a cane), as well as the narrator. It’s an incredible tour de force, but it’s also filled with emotion and heart.
Read the Rest!
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Copyright 2011 New York Irish Arts