It's time for Frogs, Lizards, Orbs and Slinkys. Courtesy of Portland, OR's Imago Theatre troupe, this Mummenschanz-ish entertainment, arriving at Off-Broadway’s family-oriented New Victory Theatre March 31-April 9, features its performers as "dancing worms, scampering monkeys and devilishly destructive orbs that wreak havoc in the audience." Also promised are a cowboy “with a scroll for a face” and teetering slinkys.
The nine, dialogue-free vignettes, by co-founders & artistic directors Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad, are played to various types of music, from rock to tribal percussion.
For tickets ($10-$25) and information on Frogs, Lizards... at the New Victory Theatre, 209 West 42nd St., call (212) 239-6200.
Upcoming shows at the New Victory include: • April 14-30: Also from Portland comes Extremely Physical Theatre in Do Jump!, mixing athletics, acrobatics and comedy.
• May 5-21: From Rotterdam, 28 life-sized puppets are featured in this look at a dog's life in St. Tropez. The Ro Theatre performers are costumed as the human counterparts of the canine puppets they manipulate.
The New Victory was the first theatre to reopen its doors under the multi-million dollar rehabilitation of 42nd Street, which also includes the renovation and 1997 reopening of Ziegfeld's old New Amsterdam Theatre (just across the street from the New Victory) as the throne of Disney's new theatre empire.
In other New Victory news, forget about wondering if the groundhog predicts winter or spring; wonder about surviving "Stagefright" instead! The company debuted their new website, http://www.newvictory.org, Feb. 2, introducing the net not only to their space and schedule, but video games, surveys, horoscopes and links.
Among the practical information available on newvictory.org are show descriptions, schedules, show articles and reviews, special events listings, RealAudio and Video clips, online ticketing and a 3-D virtual tour of the New Victory Theatre.
Less utilitarian, but perhaps more fun are polls, monthly questionaires, ghost stories and Haiku Horoscopes. And then there's "Stagefright." Created especially for the New Victory by Digitalthread Design and Polemic Productions, "Stagefright" is a web-based action adventure game where free-falling objects try desperately to end a player's stage career. Armed only with a bag of rotten tomatoes and quick reflexes, players can peg sandbags and the like before they stop the actor.
The New Victory serves as the 42nd Street host house for national and international productions, mostly geared towards New York City youth. The 1999-2000 season has already featured the Philadelphia Dance Company, Shockheaded Peter, Tomas Kubinek, Suzanne Farrell and the masters of 20th Century Ballet.
-- By David Lefkowitz
and Christine Ehren