As Does King Lear. . .
Not in the play, but he seems to have burned a place in people’s memories. Our small gallery space in San Francisco was ideal for this baby’s birth, and we had fulsome response. Thanks to our publicist, we actually got the rare notice of reviewers:
“Utterly convincing, often heartbreakingly so”
“A startlingly effective and haunting Lear — more so than most that have a full cast of living actors”
“A work of passion and artistry … nothing short of genius”
“Two masters who have perfected their craft”
“Quite frankly, I have never seen anything like it. Within the confines of a puppet stage, too cramped even to stand up, these two create a sweeping, theatrically satisfying version of King Lear that can hold its own with the work of any Shakespeare Festival in the United States.”
“The entire evening is an object lesson in what wonders theatrical art can accomplish. I will never forget it. You won’t either.”
We still have a long way to go. Some people still get confused among the characters and the plot, though that’s clearer than it was; and as we start working on the video version, we see innumerable flaws in the puppetry. There are places where I’m racing and should just let it breathe. I’ll be happy when people no longer comment on my stamina or my memorization — it should seem effortless.
The performance itself I’d liken to the bull riding I saw in rodeos as a kid, though they only had to stay on the bull for eight seconds, and for me it’s an hour-forty. You’re never anywhere close to perfection, but you start to get a sense of the balance points.
Special thanks go to Ron Coulter, Drissana Devananda, and Deborah Eliezer and her family for lodging us, and to the folks at The Emerald Tablet for being ideal hosts.
And to our publicist Erica Lewis, our costumer Fay Mallory, our photographers Robert Fischer and S.N. Jacobson, our rehearsal stage manager Liora Jacob, and our brave & hardy preview audiences in Sebastopol.
And our apologies to Zeno the gallery cat, who had to be exiled during performances, though he desperately wanted to hang out under my throne.