Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Cabinet by Redmoon Theatre

Way back when, Charley Sherman asked Mr. Morlock to design lights for a little skit he had in mind - Clive Barker's "In the Flesh." He suggested two films to watch for inspiration: Dario Argento's "Suspiria" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari."

This made for a woozy weekend's viewing.

Mr. Morlock had seen "Dr. Caligari" in a film class and a had a vague sense of its position in the firmament of stellar, influential films. It's also beautiful and creepy as all get-out. So he had little interest in seeing a mid-sixties rip-off with the same title,

and probably would have passed on this 2005 remake, had it actually shown up on his radar.

But this... this! Redmoon Theatre, doing a puppet show version? Oh my heavens, yes.

Saw it last week, just before opening. Gorgeous. Exhilaratingly inventive stage tricks. And yes, creepy as all get-out.

I have to admit, Mr. Morlock has once had to fight back a sneer at the notion of puppets for grown-ups, remembering the earnest, greasy-haired dork played by John Cusack in "Being John Malkovich." But if you go back and look at those marionette sequences -- rather compelling. And Redmoon...

Redmoon works on a whole different level, people. Their mission statement actually says some nonsense about engaging your childlike sense of wonder, giving you the experience of a waking dream. Sounds like drivel, BUT IT'S TRUE. Their shows are other-worldly. You truly do feel transported. And the waking dream of "The Cabinet" is pleasantly shivery and nightmarish.

You will enjoy. Go and see.

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