The 1920 German silent movie classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was artistically ahead of its time. The plot took numerous twists before endings regularly did such conniving things, and Expressionist stylization won out over the conventions of the time. Rik Lopes and Mikka Bonel, co-artistic directors at HurLyBurLy Productions (and former San Francisco State coconspirators), use the work as a muse for a boundary-pushing, discipline-bending performance dubbed Caligari. It channels certain theatrical elements of the movie and puts them onto one of the more unorthodox stages weve seen. Audiences are ushered in and around sections of what is typically the storage and industrial event space of a SOMA BDSM leather store. We needed a place that was like a fantasy-based world, like an asylum, Bonel says. Writer and director Daniel Korth adapts some of the more abstract and poetic parts of the film to create a script that stands on its own, while Bonel imparts a biomechanical movement on the characters for general mind-effing purposes. The duo empowers the actors with lighting responsibilities via pen lights, wall lights, and book-clip lights instead of traditional stage lighting. Maybe someday well look back and call HurLyBurLy ahead of its time.
Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m. Starts: Dec. 2. Continues through Dec. 10, 2010