Come May 5, San Francisco theatergoers will have something to be tank ful for -- the Off-Off-Broadway smash Symphony Fantastique gets its first regional production this spring, happening simultaneously with the New York run. Previews began April 27 for the May 5 opening of the show, set to the hourlong symphony by Hector Berlioz.
Symphonie Fantastique, which opened May 28, 1998, at NYC's HERE Theatre, is puppetry with a Twist -- literally. Basil Twist's show, of abstract forms and movement, is presented in a 500-gallon aquarium. Twist vows this is the first time an entire puppet show has ever been done underwater.
At San Francisco's Zeum Theater, the commercial run will utilize a tank more than twice the size of the one at HERE. Production spokesperson Sam Rudy (of the Shirley Herz office) told Playbill On-Line the CA mounting will also require five puppeteers, rather than the four used in New York.
It should be noted that Symphonie Fantastique isn't puppetry the way most people think of it (aka marionettes and Pinocchio). Instead, the piece shows objects of various colors, sizes and textures, flowing in water to the music. Twist, 29, has previously worked with Julie Taymor and Mabou Mines.
For tickets and information on Symphonie Fantastique at the Zeum Theater call (415) 820-3353. -- by David Lefkowitz