Toad Productions, a new New York City theatre company devoted to staging work with a "multi-arts" approach to storytelling, presents its first production, Bluebeard and Other Less Grisly Tales of Love, Sept. 6-22. The troupe's co-founders Liza Steinberg, Annie Arnoult Beserra and Sam Lieb collaborated on the project, which weaves together familiar and obscure myths and fairytales, including the famed story of the new wife whose husband cautions her not to go into a secret room.
Images abound in the puppet-and-movement-driven theatrical venture, playing The Walker Space in Manhattan. Expect a wedding train to transform into snow-capped mountains, a man to sculpt himself into a pigeon and a watery spirit to rise out of the sea. Steinberg is the writer-director, Beserra choreographs and Lieb designs. Music, puppets and dance help form the world of the international tales. All three artists have credits in Chicago.
Also included in Bluebeard... are The Pigeon Bride, based on a Yugoslavian folk story, about a princess who falls in love with a bird; and The Sea Nymph, a Swedish tale, about a young man who leaves his love for a sea creature.
The ensemble includes Kate Baldwin, Erin Cardillo, Deanna Pacelli, Kate Arrington, Melissa Creighton, Lucia Rich, Aaron Clayton, Daniel Goldstein, Peter Russo and Ailsa Muir. The band Plague to Prague performs live. Official opening is Sept. 9.
Tickets for the Off-Off-Broadway showcase are $15. Walker Space is at 46 Walker Street, two blocks south of Canal between Broadway and Church. For information, call (212) 358-5834.
— By Kenneth Jones