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Dream Of The Marionettes Is Still Very Much A Dream (Fringe Festival 2010)

by Lina Zeldovich on August 29, 2010

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Costume ensembles are just about the only thing that carries Dream of Marionettes as a show. Perhaps the idea of adding a burlesque spirit to a marionettes’ rebellion against an abusive puppeteer who exploited his dolls and threatened to throw them in the furnace seemed like a new twist on the old Pinocchio tale, but the script is simply too flat.

When the dolls get a hold of their Stromboli’s magic wand, they turn the old, bald and goateed owner into a marionette himself, force him to obey their orders and make fun of him in every way imaginable. Nothing wrong with some healthy femme fatale domination, especially when it comes to burlesque, but it’s just never gets funny. In fact, every joke is a cliché, every song sounds like something we’ve heard before and the story comes out lame. Even the promised burlesque part doesn’t seem to really “take” – barely anyone takes any clothes off during the show.

The Bottom Line? The Marionette’s cast, which actually does know how to sing and dance, and the truly great costume designer were the highlights of the show.


Dream of the Marionettes / Le Reve des Marionettes
Les Marionettes Productions

Written by Johanna Divine and Christy Leichty; Music by Johanna Divine and Daniel Coolik
Directed by Steven Cooper and Christy Leichty
Choreography by John Vincent

Final performance: Sunday, August 29th at 2:30pm

Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa (66 E 4th St)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bolivar SchaghnasteNo Gravatar August 31, 2010 at 10:23 am

Anyone who thinks (and is willing to put the idea out in the public as a critic of the art form) that burlesque has anything to do with “taking it off” is revealing ignorance of the art form and it’s historical and cultural importance – how embarrassing for this site – got some learn’n before engaging mouth

Karen Tortora-LeeNo Gravatar August 31, 2010 at 10:57 am

Thank you for taking a moment to write in to discuss the finer points of the word “burlesque” (Which is what I assume you’re doing? You don’t seem to have an issue with the review itself? If so – it wasn’t mentioned).

While I do agree with you that bulesque, as an art form, doesn’t have EVERYTHING to do with “taking it off” to say it doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with stripping isn’t quite true either – especially in this most recent surge of underground burlesque that has been hitting the downtown scene. To expect a little more skin isn’t necessarily a misdirected expectation. And for Lina to voice that expectation doesn’t necessarily mean she has no knowledge of the history of burlesque. Regardless . . . to call it “an embarrassment” for the site lies in the eye of the reader, I would think.

What I’m glad for here is the openness of discussion. Lina said what she had to say about the topic, and your reply, though a bit prickly, ensued such that the end result was additional information on the topic – or at least a notion that if people wish to explore it further – they should.

I would like to see this continue here on The Happiest Medium; where we keep cultivating an atmosphere in which people feel free to share opinions and information. What better way to educate ourselves, expand our views, and understand each other more completely?

The more we are able to communicate skillfully all the way around and have genuine curiosity for why someone believes the way they do, the more we can have that valuable, open exchange.

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