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Fringe Fest: Tesla's White Pigeon, Part One: Static 

Wednesday, Sep 12 2007

The always-inventive local performance group mugwumpin riffs on the many discoveries and ideas of scientific genius Nikola Tesla. The show explores science's ability to expand our understanding of the world around us, as well as its limits in helping humanity understand the world inside us. Or, at least, that was my interpretation of the show, based on my personal knowledge of Tesla's emotional attachment to pigeons. The show itself didn't make it so clear. True to form, mugwumpin doesn't lay out for you what their inspirations are or what they are driving at. That allows for wider interpretation of their work, but it also can prevent you from being truly engaged in what they're trying to explore. There are many beautiful stage images and relationships; the company members' sense of theatrical language and risk-taking alone makes their performances a delight to behold. But a little more of a link among all the gorgeous poses and provocative ideas would, in my mind, help this 35-minute piece resonate more richly beyond the moment of the show.

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Molly Rhodes


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