The protagonist of the Joe Goode Performance Groups latest piece is a puppet. Our first reaction was
yikes. How does a dance/theater troupe get at the heart of what it is to be human using a main character who is, well, not human? Then we learned the collaborating puppeteer on this new work, Wonderboy, is none other than Basil Twist, and we thought okay, this just might work. Perhaps the best-known manipulator of marionettes working today, Twist imbues his wooden friends with uncanny emotional realism, pathos, and wit, all hallmarks of Goodes own storytelling sensibility. Manipulated at times invisibly and at times in conjunction with the dancing, Wonderboy tells the story of the title character's superpower: supersensitivity, which renders him both an outsider and a potent healer of broken souls. Tin Hat Trio singer and violinist Carla Kihlstedt and pianist/drummer Matthias Bossi of avant-rockers Sleepytime Gorilla Museum provide musical accompaniment alongside six Joe Goode performers whose voices brim with as much gut-level loveliness as their dancing. Also on the bill are excerpts from Goodes 1996 Maverick Strain, a deconstruction of Arthur Millers screenplay for The Misfits with music by Beth Custer.
June 6-15, 8 p.m., 2008