You think things got tangled at the Olympics? Twenty-two puppet-theatre troupes from the U.S., Europe, South America and Australia will gather in New York to give some 145 performances with approximately 370 puppets Sept. 10-22 in the third biennial International Festival of Puppet Theatre.
Though some of the performances are geared for children, most are cutting-edge puppetry for grownups. There's even a late-night puppet cabaret for more controversial subjects.
Among the companies are Gesell Chamber of Argentina, which uses turn-of-century china dolls abandoned by children of the upper class; Compagnie Nicole Mossoux of Belgium, which performs sinister and erotic works with life-size marionettes; and and Teatro Tinglado of Mexico that reconceives Punch & Judy as the story of a murderous psychopath.
The Festival will be hosted by the Jim Henson Foundation, organized by the late creator of the Muppets.
Performances will be given at the Joseph Papp Public Thetre, LaMaMa ETC, Dance Theatre Workshop, Public School 122 and the New Victory Theatre. Performances are given throughout many of the days listed. Here is the schedule:
Alice Farley/Henry Threadgill of New York: Erotec (the human life of machines), Sept 10-15 at the Public Theatre.
Eric Bass/Sandglass Theatre of Vermont: The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Sept. 10-15 at the Public Theatre.
Teatro Tinglado of Mexico: The Repugnant Story of Clotario Demoniax Sept. 10-15 at the Public Theatre.
Forman Brothers of the Czech Republic: The Baroque Opera, Sept. 11-15 at the Public Theatre.
Hystopolis Productions of Chicago: Ubu Roi, Sept. 11-15 at the Public Theatre.
Frantisek & Vera of the Czech Republic: Piskanderdula, Sept. 11-22 at LaMaMa E.T.C.
Janie Geiser & Co. of New York: Evidence of Floods Sept. 12-22 at Dance Theatre Workshop
El Periferico de Objectos of Argentina: Gesell Chamber, Sept. 17-21 at the Public Theatre.
Compagnie Nicole Mossoux & Patrick Bonte of Belgium: Twin Houses, Sept. 18-21 at the Public Theatre.
Roman Paska/ Theatre for the Birds of New York: Moby Dick in Venice Sept. 18-22 at the Public Theatre.
Basil Twist of New York: The Aranaidae Show and Other Pieces, Sept. 16-17 at the Public Theatre.
Warner Blake of Seattle: Soup Talk I: Voice of the Turtledove and Soup Talk II: Voice of the Hollow Man, Sept. 12-21 (Part I at 6 PM, Part II at 8 PM) at La MaMa E.T.C.
Puppet Lounge at PS 122: Late Night, Sept. 12-21 at PS 122.
Mabou Mines of New York: Peter and Wendy Sept. 18-22 at the Public Theatre.
Figures of Speech Theatre of Maine: Nightingale Sept. 12-15 at the New Victory Theatre.
Amoros and Augustin Ki-Yi Mbock Theatre of France and Cote d'Ivoire: Sunjata, Sept. 20-21 at the New Victory Theatre.
Green Ginger of Wales: Frank Einstein Sept. 19-21 at the New Victory Theatre.
Alchemilla Puppetworks of New York: Puppets, Music and the Unexpected Sept. 21-22 at the Public Theatre.
Evolve Productions of Australia: A Rare Performance Sept. 21-22 at the Public Theatre.
Theatre Laku-Paka of Germany: Rapunzel and Other Stories, Sept. 14-15, 22 at the Public Theatre.
Pumpernickel Puppet of Massachusetts: Frog Prince, Sept. 14-15 at the Public Theatre.
Ticket prices vary by performance, but range $8-$25. For information and tickets: (212) 563-5544.
-- By Robert Viagas