Monday, October 26, 2009

Bread and Puppet Theatre Dirt Cheap Money Circus

Thanks to the hard work and organization of a local activist - who regularly carries a cat in a bookbag, much to the joy of small children everywhere - the historic Bread and Puppet Theatre visited our dear city for three performances in October. Two of these were in our neighborhood and one of these was to encourage support of the Food Co-op I volunteer for.

Their shpiel about the Dirt Cheap Money Circus:

It features the billionaire bonus celebration dance, the logic of the US Healthcare System, the history of humanity and the removal of a mountaintop, interspersed with appearances by Karl Marx, who confronts the 2009 economic situation with his existential thoughts about money and our relationship to it. As always, there is a live band.

We got to see the two performances in our neighborhood. The first was a daytime performance which included much hilarity and played a lot like a radical political cartoon on stilts. FAN-tastic and right up my alley.

There were some solemn moments as well, mainly noting the ongoing wars that must end and honoring the dead.

The kids particularly liked the bit where the mountaintop got its head blown off then went after the coal companies and made them give it back.My favorite portion was the grand finale, featuring the collapse of the U.S. economy under the weight of corporate welfare and military spending. Two young hot numbers bouncing like some Jane Fonda workout video with more pep than a QVC hostess brought their stimulus package to save the day. With some grapevines of growth and the urging of everyone in the audience to SPEND, the economy got back on her feet. In the end though, she just dumped the barbell on future generations, who cried on their back.

The evening performance the next night, involved a fantastic - though somewhat confusing for its absurdity - puppet show. We were asked to move to sit on the ground to get a better view since the puppet theater sort of faced only in one direction and we were seated off to the side. We sat in the larger stage area and were incredibly close to all the action!
The nighttime performance featured less hilarity and a more subdued approach to moral issues and radical politics. Still excellent nonetheless.

The music was really incredible. These six volunteer performers have incredible versatility. It's like the anarchist Fame. The best part about it all, was that we walked just down the street to see it.

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