Puppeteer Paul Zaloom's latest piece, Velvetville, is true to its title. The show, to be seen at P.S. 122 Jan. 5-23, features "an array of cheesy black velvet paintings." These artworks, commissioned by Zaloom and featuring such kitschy characters as the Smurfs, trolls and card playing dogs (as well as the obligatory Elvis), occupy one of the arenas in Velvetville's three-ring circus, which promises "breathtakingly cheap special effects." In ring one, Zaloom's stage is an overhead projector, on which he works a menagerie of puppets made out of food products and "99-cent store junk." Ring two spotlights the velvet paintings, an art form which Zaloom claims is 2,000 years old. Finally, in the third ring, a puppet drama is enacted in which rubber rats play humans and an L.A. bus is represented by a gas mask.
All of the above somehow has to do with a bad dream Zaloom had one night. As for Zaloom, the star of TV's "Beakman's World" -- he will be dressed at each performance in mismatched pajamas and a nightcap.
Still interested? For information, call (212) 477-5288.
--By Robert Simonson