A graphic novel performed live

| No Comments
            

On Sunday night Laura and I, together with our friends Maribeth and Larry, saw an immense theatrical spectacle of narrative, music, puppeteering, and images projected on a huge subdivided vertical surface. And no, it wasn't Roger Waters performing The Wall (though I did see that last night with my brother-in-law at the United Center).

The Astronaut's Birthday

What we did see was experimental theater group Redmoon's latest production, The Astronaut's Birthday, which is being presented in conjunction with Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.

In fact, the production is being presented on the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Astronaut's Birthday is a motion comic performed live, with all the art projected onto the windows of the museum's facade from inside. In fact, each of the eighteen windows has two puppeteers behind it, slapping hand-drawn, hand-colored gels onto an overhead projector and manipulating overlays to make some of the visual elements move. In fact, sometimes the images extend across multiple windows, and when you add in the music, sound effects, live narration and voice acting, not to mention the occasional human silhouettes that dance through the images, and you've got an immensely complicated operation going on behind the scenes.

With all the beautiful visuals and impressive technical craft going on, the story falls a bit on the thin and sappy side. But with a show like this, you're not really there for the story. The Astronaut's Birthday You're there for the spectacle. I took over a hundred grainy pictures of that spectacle during the show, which Redmoon in fact encouraged. In a pre-show announcement, they told us to take all the non-flash pictures we liked, and to disseminate them far and wide. (Which only goes to show that Redmoon gets this internet thing.)

So I'm doing my part with a Flickr slideshow comprising all the pictures I took from the crowded audience risers. The quality is maybe not the best, but if you set the play speed on FAST it will maybe give you an idea of what the visual component of the show was like.

Unfortunately, there are only three performances left (September 23, 24, and 26), so if you want to see The Astronaut's Birthday you'd better grab your tickets quick. And bring a jacket.

[ original post:  http://shunn.livejournal.com/517698.html ]

Leave a comment

The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

About This Entry

This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on September 21, 2010 3:00 PM.

'Bye, "Boys" was the previous entry in this blog.

In the bloom is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Archives