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Culture, Stage Devise and Conquer

Devise and Conquer

"Devised" is a dirty word for many theatergoers. The notion of performance as existing without a written text and a single author is by no means a new one: The reputations of such venerable institutions as London's Complicite, New York's…
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Calendar, Night&Day This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 The Pacific Film Archive's series highlighting "operatives, surveillants, and saboteurs" in cinema gets really weird with The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover, described in the program as a "tawdry biopic" of the former FBI honcho.…
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Calendar, Night&Day Lipstick Thespians

Lipstick Thespians

Sultry jazz and sequined gowns, 6-foot-tall dudes with fuchsia lip gloss, the timeless lyrical orators of "Pink Cadillac" and "Material Girl": The word "diva" brings all sorts of things to mind. In fact, it's become something of a catchall for…
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Culture, Stage Seeking the Fantastique

Seeking the Fantastique

Liebe Wetzel has a weird kind of fame. For the last five years she's created stirring puppet shows out of found objects like foam strips, wrenches, feather boas, and rolling pins. Her ensemble, Lunatique Fantastique, has no competition for "object…
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Culture, Stage

The Construction Cabaret

Liebe Wetzel's found-object puppetry tends to be a family event, with skit after skit of funny items doing funny things, or else an oddly serious silent show about, say, racism. The Construction Cabaret is neither: not serious, and not for…
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Calendar, Performance Object-ifying


WED-SAT 11/5-8 Aside from Crank Yankers and a couple of ventriloquists who work "blue" in nightclub acts, puppetry is a performance medium assumed to be mostly for the kiddies. Certainly Liebe Wetzel, artistic director of Lunatique Fantastique, didn't realize what…
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Culture, Stage

Snake in the Basement: The Prosecution of Reverend Bill Pruitt

In 1999, six women accused the then-87-year-old Rev. Bill Pruitt of molesting them at a school for missionary children in Africa in the 1960s and '70s (Pruitt died before the investigation was completed). Now, with found objects -- newspapers, tissues,…
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Calendar, Night&Day Puppets Packing Heat

Puppets Packing Heat

Puppet. Even the word sounds hopelessly cute, conjuring up images of the clunky, big-eyed felt creatures that Mister Rogers used to visit, or Jim Henson's stable of Muppet characters. But there's much more than cuddliness in the puppet oeuvre. We…
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