The Shadow Knows

Shadow-puppet theater is elementally powerful and super-ancient: Think of Plato's cave wall. Shadowplay shows up in the folk art of India, China, Greece, and plenty of other places, but tonight, the old standby bursts into the here and now. Sort of. In Karaghiozis for President, the protagonist (Karaghiozis, a traditional main character in political Greek shadow theater) runs for office – in Thessaloniki during the time of the Ottoman occupation. With his friend Hatziavatis, the candidate faces mythological monstrosities, dirty elections, and violent intimidation at polling places (by Turkish Vellighekas.) So yes, it's an allegory. The show is performed live on a 45 X 21 foot screen by local Greek storytelling master Leonidas Kassapides, who calls it an "action packed comedy," with democracy at its heart and live music at its side. The poster riffs, in a CNN font: "Critics say Greek shadow play is more entertaining than Palin vs. Biden boxing match."
Fri., Oct. 31, 8 p.m., 2008

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