When most people hear, “New York theatre,” they mentally pull up pictures of Times Square, and the Great White Way. In the four and a half years I’ve lived here I’ve been able to see 42 Broadway shows, some more than once (don’t be jealous, I am often chaperoning students). But although I appreciate glitzy-big budget extraveganzas, I am most captivated by the burgeoning, yet underfunded, avant garde theatre scene.
I recently saw my friend Amy Jensen perform in a multi-sensory puppetry show based on Homer’s Odyssey. Director Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew had a unique vision for the piece, that brought in actors on stilts, shadow puppets, and a battle re-enactment with bits of food that was both horrific and whimsical, with crushed strawberries spewing blood everywhere. Wine was both served to the audience, and spilled out over the set. At the very end, an enormous red velvet cake was carefully sliced with a taut string, and then hacked into pieces with a cleaver and served to the audience. Yes, it was disturbing on some level, but I ate it just the same. I had come straight from work, and I was starving. It was quite good. Very moist.
I really enjoyed this performance. The imagery was exquisite, and the audience interaction drew me into a story I have never found especially palatable. Well done!