Thursday, July 26, 2018

5 - Hit The Lights! Theater Co.'s two-fer - Horsetale - Whales

Horsetale - Hit The Lights! Theater Co. - Celtic Junction

Using handmade shadow puppetry, three vintage overhead projectors, original folk music, and American iconography, a Horse and it's Tail become separated and, in their search for each other, find themselves.


Whales - Hit the Lights! Theater Co. - Ritz Mainstage

Inspired by punk rock, game shows, puppetry and Herman Melville’s masterpiece Moby-Dick, HTL! invites you to catch a glimpse of the dark world that brought us a legendary white whale and the men that hunt him.

Every year on this list there are a couple of super easy calls.  This is one of them.

Hit The Lights! Theater Co. wowed the Fringe community here last year with packed houses for their shadow puppetry and physical theater work in Dungeon.

They’re back again with a two-fer - which I’m doubly ambivalent about to be honest, two shows for one company, for starters; then the fact that one of them is in a mini-festival that’s curated in the midst of our famously and proudly non-curated festival - but that’s a whole other set of conversations.

Setting that other stuff aside for a sec, Hit The Lights does great work.  While I wasn’t quite as transported as a lot of theater folk I knew were (spoiler alert: wait, you mean, after all that, they both die at the end?), I couldn’t deny that Dungeon was a hell of a fun ride while it lasted.  So I’m really looking forward to catching at least one, hopefully both, of these offerings (another weird wrinkle, those off-cycle start times for the Family Fringe shows where Horsetale is.  Oh well.)

Both of the preview videos look like a lot of fun, too, in Hit the Lights’ signature style, which they describe this way: “Using found materials, flashlights, vintage overhead projectors and cardboard, HTL! specializes in the transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary. HTL! also focuses on the interplay between darkness and light, utilizing shadow puppetry as the lifeblood of their storytelling. The company is comprised of six experienced multidisciplinary artists: puppeteers, actors, musicians, vocalists, artisans, and everything in between.”

Also in Whales’ favor, it was nominated for three NYC Innovative Theatre Awards - Outstanding Design (puppets), Music and Premiere of a Play.  Regardless of the circumstances, I’m very glad they're back so I can share their work with Mom this year.

Here's some handy links to the full Top 10, Top 11-20 and Returning Favorites lists.

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