The Playgoer: REVIEW: Fabrik

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

REVIEW: Fabrik

photos: Nordland Visual Theater

In the Voice today, my review of Fabrik, a remarkable piece of puppet theatre by the Wakka Wakka group, who'd I never seen before. Their puppetry is more Jim Henson than Balinese or Bunraku, but a wonderful display of the artform nonetheless.


isaac butler said...

what's the matter with Jim Henson, exactly? Why would you need a qualifier that even though it's like Jim Henson and not bunraku puppetry it is still good? he's one of the great artists and innovators of the form, and without his foundation, we wouldn't see nearly as much puppet theater is this country as we do.

(sorry...he was my first hero)

Playgoer said...

Don't worry, Isaac. I'm not dissing your dawg. I reazlie my context made that SOUND derogatory, but wasn't what I meant. I guess I just acknowledging that in the world of "Theatre Arts" Henson has less cache than the "classical" puppet theatre styles.

And I do think one of Fabrik's achievements is reclaiming the Henson and elevating it to a Bunraku-esque plateau. Or in other words, showing it can do more in the theatre than Avenue Q.

frank said...

I liked it too, though not quite as much as you did I think. They're clearly a company to watch.

My review here.

(I'm kind of jealous that you write for the Voice and Time Out. Oh well.)

Playgoer said...

Thanks for sharing your take, Frank. (And the extra photos!)

I guess I didn't find myself worrying about the quality of the actual script, or asking "why another Holocaust drama" since I felt this was primarily a display (an effective display) of puppetry craft. And one where the medium very much WAS the message.

What do I mean by that. Ok, not sure. Just that telling a Holocaust victim's story THIS WAY made it a new story, especially the combination of whimsy and "inappropriate" humor.

As for your "jealousy" thanks. But hey, keep amassing those clippings. A couple of years ago I wasn't writing for those guys either.