There Be Monsters

A malfunctioning windup toy of a show, meant for adults but good for kids


Through Nov. 19

Tickets are $12-20



Exit Cafe, 156 Eddy (between Mason and Taylor), S.F.

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Dan Carbone's solo play is a malfunctioning little windup toy of a show. As assorted fluffy bunnies, stuffed Humpty Dumptys, and plastic astronaut monkeys fly around the minuscule Exit Cafe stage, Carbone half-sings, half-talks (or Sprechgesangs) his way through warped tales and ditties that aren't quite what you'd expect to hear on Sesame Street. A cross between Dr. Seuss and Freddy Krueger -- with a touch of Lewis Carroll thrown in for good measure -- Carbone is a big, bald man-child exorcising inner demons with a goofy grin and an old-fashioned trunk. The performance's eccentricities wear a bit thin after 30 minutes; even so, the beautifully orchestrated lighting, sound, and movement cues create an engrossing aura that makes you feel like you're in the middle of a waking dream. The production is meant for an adult audience, but I think There Be Monsters would appeal to kids -- and to those of us who spent our formative years ripping the heads off Barbie dolls or constructing My Little Pony abattoirs.

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