An unconventional puppet present a few post-apocalyptic radioactive wasteland that’s combined with bits and items of “Romeo & Juliet,” “The Dark Crystal,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Metropolis” and “1984” – plus a narrator who carries a lobster cellphone? Rely me in.
“The Immortal Jellyfish Girl,” written by Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock, might initially sound like one thing out of “SpongeBob SquarePants.” In spite of everything, Bikini Backside is dwelling to Jellyfish Fields.
However in actuality, this co-production of New York’s Wakka Wakka Productions and Norway’s Nordland Visible Theatre is the type of meticulous piece of experimental theater that one would possibly anticipate finding at LaMaMa (the legendary avant-garde theater hub within the East Village).
For some cause, it begins with about 5 minutes of chanting, with nothing else happening. After that, a person costumed as a fox (or fairly a mixture of fox and clown) takes over as a form of jittery emcee, narrator, and commentator, after which lastly the puppets (dropped at life by a number of performer-technicians wearing black) come on.
Because the fox explains, it’s the yr 2555 and ecological calamity has destroyed the world and created two warring humanoid species (the technology-oriented “Homo Technalis” and the animal-oriented “Homo Animalis”), as demonstrated by a squid assault on a robot-like creature.
Aurelia (i.e. the Immortal Jellyfish Woman), who resides in a tank and was created by an enormous turtle, is an amalgam of species, together with jellyfish, human, turtle, frog, and even kangaroo. She desires in regards to the world past and finally meets and turns into romantically concerned with a Homo Technalis boy (who later one way or the other mutates right into a bug with wings).
For the report, the “immortal jellyfish” is an actual factor. It’s a species of jellyfish (Turritopsis dohrnii) with the power to show again right into a polyp after which rebuild itself, thus giving it the power to doubtlessly stay perpetually.
By the present’s finish, a prophecy has been fulfilled, everybody seems to be useless, and each the fox and the viewers are left making an attempt to make sense of what has occurred over the previous 80 minutes. The fox pathetically even tries to finish the present by choosing up and voicing the puppets on his personal.
“The Immortal Jellyfish Girl” makes for preferrred far-out experimental theater, with an otherworldly and totally transporting design scheme (constructed upon intricate puppetry, lighting, sound, costumes, and projections) that evokes a basic Coney Island circus sideshow, ominous political overtones, wacky humor, and unapologetic strangeness – even when the plotting will get complicated.
“The Immortal Jellyfish Girl” is on view at 59E59 (59 E. 59th St.) by way of Feb. 19. Extra information at 59e59.org.