All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Zellerbach Hall’

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Imago Theatre: La Belle/ Lost in the World of the Automaton

above: Pictured: Imago Theatre performs La Belle Friday–Sunday, November 24–26, 2017 in Zellerbach Hall. (credit: Jerry Mouawad)

Pictured: Imago Theatre performs La Belle Friday–Sunday, November 24–26, 2017 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: Courtesy of Imago Theatre)

Review by Jo Tomalin

Portland’s Imago Theatre presents La Belle / Lost in the World of the Automaton at Zellerbach Hall November 24 – 26, 2017 produced by Cal Performances. La Belle, written by Carol Triffle, Jerry Mouawad, and Devin Stinson, is inspired from the classic story Beauty and the Beast, and created and directed by Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad.

Imago Theatre is a company that is well known for their critically acclaimed original shows integrating physical theatre, creative masks, puppets, and more to create innovative storytelling – and La Belle is all that. The large set is visually stunning with a huge steamer boat, trunks and a variety of colorful luggage fill the huge Zellerbach Hall stage. As the just over ninety minute show, including one intermission progresses the colorful steamship and period style 1920s trunks hide many delights. In fact, so much happens emanating from the creative set that it becomes an additional character in the show!

Two enthusiastic and skilled actors plus two unseen puppeteers bring this story to life through their characters, puppets and automata. Jim Vadala plays the hard working Sam Stoker as he shovels fuel in the boiler room of the steamship. In his spare time he daydreams, sings and plays the ukulele. One day he meets the beautiful Lady Rose played by Justine Davis when she travels on the boat. Together they narrate, act, mime, dance, sing and cleverly manipulate shadow puppets and rod puppets to tell the story – with an interesting change of pace and twist in their blossoming romance in Act 2, after intermission.

Pictured: Imago Theatre performs La Belle Friday–Sunday, November 24–26, 2017 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: Jerry Mouawad)

Puppeteers Lance Woolen and Erin Nicole Chmela perform additional puppetry and effects. A special feature of this show is the automaton style puppet, where figures move under their own steam, so to speak…they seemingly move without puppeteers! It’s very clever and brings a magical touch to the show.

Imaginative 1920s Costume design by Carol Triffle for Sam and Lady Rose add to the setting with compelling sound design by Kyle Delamarter.

La Belle is a charming show with beautiful imagery, original music, humor, and excellent performances featuring several styles of puppetry that will entertain audiences of all ages.

More Information, Upcoming Productions & Tickets:

Jo Tomalin, Ph.D. reviews Dance, Theatre & Physical Theatre Performances
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