Sunday, December 16, 2018

Zoozoo—Imago Theatre—SE Portland


Let a Smile be your Umbrella…

This family-friendly production is created by Jerry Mouawad & Carol Triffle (co-founders of Imago).  It is playing at their space, 17 SE 8th Ave. (off Burnside), through January 6th.  For more information, go to their site at www.imagotheatre.com or for tickets, call 503-231-9581.

…to shield against the dimming background of a dreary world.  And what a better space to spend a couple of hours, than with the imagination of Imago.  No language barrier here (as there is essentially no dialogue), or a barrier on your imagination, either.  From the Poles of North and South, with a Polar Bear family bracing against winter’s wrath, or Penguins playing musical chairs (where even the audience isn’t immune in this game); to the smallest of the small of bug-eyed insects, butterflies and the enigmatic Larvabatic; to hefty hippos fighting over covers in their too tiny bed; to even the delights of what amusements can be found in sheets of paper, or the mysteries inside a paper bag; and more…they are unique, jaw-dropping, bamboozling and will take you on a journey that you will never forget!

And not only will you visit these wonders of the imagination, along with curious cats, active accordions, floundering frogs, and avid anteaters, but you’ll be taken on a mysterious ride with a Magic Cloth (Michael Curry & Co.) that will awaken a girl and boy and a dog’s imagination to the wonders of believing that  if a red piece of cloth can fly, what other possibilities are there hidden within the heart and mind, if one just…believes!

I couldn’t possibly describe the events that will transpire for an audience, as you really do have to see it to believe it.  But the masks are as creative as any C/G or animated film; the costumes lush as any from a Royal setting; the sound effects uncannily convincing; the lighting (Jeff Forbes), from spots, to mood, to washes, enlighten the atmosphere; and original music (Katie Griesar) completes the illusions, carrying a being gently from one destination easily to another.  And the cast is exemplar (Kaician Jade Kitko, Mark Mullaney, Bryan Smith, Laura Loy, Fiely Matias and Stephanie Woods)!

And what can you say about the directors and creators, Mouawad & Triffle, as words are so inadequate.  You can be assured that whatever they do, will be nothing like you’ve ever seen before, and it will be done professionally.  I don’t pretend to understand some of the concepts often but it doesn’t matter, because images will come (right or wrong) as my imagination has been awakened and exercised.  We seem to exist in an electronic vacuum now, in which the humanity in us is being sucked out.  This show, and others they do, seeks to put that humaneness back into the world by imploring us to expand our horizons.  I applaud them!

This show is not to be missed and, regardless of your background or language, this a delight for the whole family.  Obviously, I highly recommend this show.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

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