Sunday, May 11, 2008

Boneyard Prayer

Last night we saw Boneyard Prayer at Redmoon Theater with our friends J&R. The show had all of the elements that make Redmoon great - it was created in a collaborative process of artists, the set was beautiful and sparse, they used puppets, projected animation, amazing, original music, little/no dialogue, and their cool mechanics. The story was really depressing, which is why I wouldn't otherwise give it a glowing review.

Boneyard Prayer is about a hobo who returns to his wife after a long absence. They've lost a child, among other things. The set looks like the top of couple of railroad cars filled with dirt, which the hobos shovel all over the place during the show. It must be so uncomfortable to perform covered in dirt - dirt in your hair and socks all through a performance - can you imagine? Redmoon calls it a "folk opera" - and the music is stunning, very folks-y/ragtime-y kind of stuff. I don't know music very well, but I think everything was in minor key. Maybe? The lead actresses voice was gorgeous - beautiful tone.

Too bad it was such a downer - I mean, not a single laugh. Previous shows there have done a great job of mixing quite serious themes with a little levity, which I think would have been a nice balance. In the end, even though it was beautiful and artful and mournful, it didn't really give me any new insight, which I've really come to expect from that theatre group. At slightly over an hour it's plenty long enough - any more and we'd all be hitting the bottle, just like that puppet.

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