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By Glen Creason
I knew it might be tough to describe the matinee “Mummenschanz” concert at the Performing Arts Center when I counted at least one hundred exclamations of “whoa!!” by the silver-haired lady in the row in front of me.
It is understandable since the show is so unique and so mind-boggling that it is hard to describe without repeating ad nauseum adjectives like astonishing, bewildering, brain-addling, dreamlike, crazy unreal, flabbergasting, incomprehensible, otherworldly, redonkulous, surreal, uncanny and lots more.
When the performance ends and only four individuals unmask and stand at center stage it is the greatest shock of all since virtually the entire audience is lead to believe there is about one hundred people creating the creatures who undulate, float, scamper, bounce, ooze, cavort and utterly delight an audience that covers the age spectrum from toddlers to senior citizens who say whoa a lot.
Would it make any sense if I listed the menagerie created by Mummenschanz?
A golden blob, a green split pea with a big red tongue, a hose with a big red ball, toilet paper headed lovers, a puzzle face, ever-changing clay visages, a purple tubing worm and a dozen more of these thingamajigs that elicited whoas and wows and excited shouts from the many kids in the audience.
There were floating, iridescent rugs, inflatable silvery bags at war, a flying yellow stick figure, a battle of big heads; eyes become big faces and a big golden blob that threatened to engulf the front row.
The troupe has been perfecting this act since 1972 and the creativity and use of movement in the act is pretty much impossible to do justice to with words but very, very entertaining to see in person. A
ll of this is performed against a black backdrop and the creatures created seem completely independent of human manipulation which is pushed to the shadows to increase the illusion.
When the show ended there was a standing ovation with kids bouncing up and down and folks in my generation raising up as quickly as we could to salute a job done marvelously.
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