The Cosmic Bicycle, one of NYC's premiere companies of experimental puppetry, presents An Evening of Miniature Masterpieces at their own ClockWorks Theatre, opening Mar. 20.
Miniature Masterpieces actually consists of two Bicycle shows: the return engagement of ClockWork Universalis -- or -- The Marvels of the Universe and the brand new Venus Envy -- A Puppet Peep-Show. Both shows, written and directed by Jonathan Cross, utilize elements of Victorian toy theatre, shadow puppets and marionettes, as well as featuring live original scores.
Cosmic Bicycle's beginnings stray back to Boston in 1989, where founder Jonathan Cross began experimenting with puppets and masques. Early Boston productions include: S.I. Witkiewitz's The Madman and the Nun, using life-sized bunraku puppets, Moliere's The Miser using half-masques and Stories from the Four Corners of the Wheel, an original play by Cross, which began his exploration into alchemy and mysticism.
In 1995, Cross and Sean-Michael Fleming co-founded, The ClockWorks Experimental Puppet Theatre, in NYC's East Village. Since the opening of ClockWorks, the company has presented six original works by Cross including: the mechanical [sic] -- an allegory about war and loss; The Marriage of Mother Earth and Father Sky- a folk pageant about nature, life, and renewal; Netherworld, A Morality Vaudeville -- puppet-demons humorously re-enact the follies of humans; The Alchemical Work -- ancient text animated and brought to life; Dr. Kronopolis and the TimeKeeper Chronicles -- A Space Opera last years' retro sci-fi adventure.
The company has been featured in The Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theatre's Late Night Cabaret at P.S. 122, The Downtown Arts Festival, and has appeared on MTV, and in commercials for its sister network, M2. An Evening of Miniature Masterpieces opens on Mar. 20, running through April 30. Reservations are strongly recommended (as the theatre seats only 13), for more information call (212) 614-0001.
-- By Sean McGrath