After Streetcar in Paris, Basil Twist Will Appear in Peter and Wendy at New Victory

News   After Streetcar in Paris, Basil Twist Will Appear in Peter and Wendy at New Victory
 
Acclaimed puppeteer Basil Twist will reunite with Obie Award-winning actress Karen Kandel in the New York return of Mabou Mines' Peter and Wendy this spring at the New Victory Theatre.

The imaginative telling of J.M. Barrie's classic, which swirls to life within the Darling family nursery, will feature Kandel reprising her performance as the Narrator, who gives voice to all of the characters in the work.

Twist told Playbill.com that he will also reprise his performance as the lead puppeteer of Peter opposite Kandel in the May 6-22, 2011, run of Peter and Wendy, which is directed by Lee Breuer. "I love that style of puppetry. I think it's really magical," Twist said of the Japanese bunraku puppets, traditionally manipulated by three puppeteers, which are used to create such familiar characters as Peter, Wendy and Captain Hook.

Peter and Wendy debuted at the New Victory in 1996. The 2011 engagement will mark its third return to the venue, after engagements across the U.S. and international festivals.

Twist is also collaborating with Breuer on a new production of Tennessee WilliamsA Streetcar Named Desire at La Comédie-Française in Paris. Anne Kessler will star as Blanche Dubois in the production that will run in repertory Feb. 5, 2011-June 2, 2011.

While Streetcar's only puppet inhabitant will be a cat, Twist has been enlisted to render the physical designs on the production. "It's very much inspired by a piece of mine called Dogugaeshi," Twist explained. "It's based on a kind of rare Japanese puppetry technique that is like an elaborate set change that involves painted screens. Lee asked me to use that as a point of departure for Streetcar." The Asian-influenced piece will utilize these painted screens to fracture the typical unit set for Streetcar, which takes place within the Kowalski's cramped New Orleans apartment. According to Twist, "This is more of a fluid staging, so even though they're in the same apartment, the backgrounds keep changing. They're mostly reflecting the interior state of Blanche."

"It's similar to this work that's happening on Broadway with computer imagery that's used on stage as a background screen that keeps changing," he continued. "This is like doing that but old school low tech. You actually haul in these paintings and then haul them away and bring in a new painting. Then you have three paintings stacked up against each other. It's kind of a dance of all these paintings."

Twist is currently represented on Broadway with The Addams Family and The Pee-wee Herman Show. His works also include Arias With a Twist, Petrushka and Symphonie Fantastique.

For tickets to Peter and Wendy visit www.newvictory.org.

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