Thursday, December 13, 2012


Mummenschanz is celebrating their 40th anniversary with a show at the NYU venue of Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Trying to describe the type of performance is almost like giving a verbal description of how to tie your shoelaces.

To make it easier I will give you their description. "The ordinary becomes extraordinary as common materials of everyday objects - wires, tubes, fabrics and different shapes spring to life as fantastic characters".  You will see 30 sketches of playful, colorful creatures.

Non-verbal mime-masque theatrics with a cast of four includes Floriana Frasseto, the co-founder, who has been with the company since it originally performed in Paris in 1972.  We all wish we were able to move that well as we age.  How they do it is the awesome part of this and you can't help but laugh as well. 

The actors are clad in black as about half of the sketches focus on the lit up costumes.  You will view the creatures, characters, or whatnot going across the stage so it appears that there are no actors with them.  At other times actors are inside the "creature" and move about to create the sketch.  Okay, as an example...each of two actors were onstage "dressed" to focus more on their head than the rest of the body.  Why?  The eyes and other parts of their head were tubes of toilet paper.  This captured a love scene between the two by using the toilet paper. As I said, it's difficult to"you had to be there".

There are even times when the "character" comes off the stage and into the audience.  One of the funniest was this huge "ball" that kept approaching the edge of the stage with some reluctance and then simply rolled into the audience and on top of a few folks.  

What is so fabulous about Mummenschanz is that it's not limited to any type of audience.  All of the kids in the audience were awe could hear them.  Standing ovations and a few curtain calls.  Mummenschanz is a masquerade of pure joy.

Performances will be running until January 6, 2013.  Check it out at 

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