Basil Twist Opens New Dodger Stages with His Symphonie Fantastique, Aug. 31

News   Basil Twist Opens New Dodger Stages with His Symphonie Fantastique, Aug. 31 Basil Twist's underwater puppet spectacle Symphonie Fantastique returns to New York to inaugurate the new Dodger Stages complex, starting Aug. 31.
Basil Twist
Basil Twist Photo by Carol Rosegg

The puppeteer — who provided Off-Broadway's The Long Christmas Ride Home with it handheld cast — presents his sold-out Off-Broadway hit anew at a 199-seat theatre at Dodger Stages, set to open Sept. 16.

Crowds filled the tiny 78-seat HERE Arts Center in SoHo to witness the Basil Twist work set in a 500-gallon water tank when it debuted there in 1998. Now Symphonie Fantastique, which "combines the magic of puppetry with the powerful suggestions of dance, film and art, set to the five movements of Hector Berlioz's hour-long 19th-century classic composition," as show materials state, will be performed in a 1,000-gallon water tank for its new run.

A cast of puppeteers will handle fabrics, feathers, vinyl, plastic, dyes, bubbles, flashlights and more to create the underwater ballet which earned Twist an Obie Award and went on to play in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Montreal, London and Munich.

The new show will offer patrons to view the production from backstage, gaining a behind-the-scenes look at the magical display. "Since Symphonie started in 1998 — and as people have asked us over and over again, 'How do you do that?' — we've always had the idea to let people watch the show from back stage," creator director Twist stated in a release. "This is the first time, though, that we've had the time and space to do it. Viewing the show from that perspective, as it is happening in real time, should be a very different experience."

Dodger Stage Holding presents the Tandem Otter Productions work. Dodger Stage Holding — currently represented on Broadway by 42nd Street — is comprised of producers Michael David, Robin de Levita, Rocco Landesman, Des McAnuff and Edward Strong. Ticket information and a performance schedule are yet to be announced. For tickets ($25, $45 and $65) to Symphonie Fantastique at the new Dodger Stages (at Worldwide Plaza), 340 West 50th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Ave.), call (212) 239-6200. For more information on Dodger Stages, visit www.dodgerstages.com.

The 10 special Backstage Seats — which allow the ticket holder to view the magic making backstage during the performance — will be available at each performance for $100. ($25 rush tickets will be sold for the Saturday 10 pm shows two hours prior to curtain and subject to availability.)

A scene from <i>Symphonie Fantastique</i>
A scene from Symphonie Fantastique Photo by Carol Rosegg