I didn’t really know what to expect last night at the Annex as I dragged my sorry ass up the stairs, submitting once more to The Stranger’s capricious whims. Brendan Kiley’s “Suggests” blurb made it sound pretty wacky. Finger puppets? Samuel Beckett? Czech surrealism? What the fuck? Kiley, however, also mentioned Edward Gorey, who I love, and so there was a light whiff of anticipation mixed in with the stench of my increasing exhaustion.
The days are starting to run together, so maybe it’s just my imagination, but last night’s show felt connected to the last couple events I’ve seen, like the final piece of a loose trilogy; while Sunday’s video exhibit was arty and obscure, and Monday’s event was an utterly fucked-up Herve Villechaize freakout, Kyle Loven’s peculiar puppetry lands somewhere in the middle.
Loven’s work is definitely bizarre, fueled by dream logic and free association. But it’s not weird just to be weird. Nor is it haughty or unapproachable in any way; likable characters emerge from the motley assemblage of dolls, marionettes, screen projections and props Loven wields onstage. Like Kiley said, the narrative frays significantly toward the end. But the show was so well-paced and the medium of the storytelling so inventive, I just went with it.
So yeah, I’m tired. And I have no idea how I’m going to muster the juice to handle Daedalus tonight. But I’m really glad I saw this show. See tomorrow night’s performance if at all possible (the folks at the theater said it’s sold out, but you can show up and probably get seated if you’re early enough). If not, keep an eye out for Loven’s work; I know I will. Dude’s got skills.