Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Time Out for Mime 

Wednesday, Apr 9 2003
Comments
Marcel Marceau takes his bow

SUN 4/13

Children are among the few who can enjoy French mime Marcel Marceau unironically: The rest of us have been ruined by mimecidal pop culture (think Shakes the Clown) and by the American boycott of all things French.But kids are generally uninformed and therefore better equipped to appreciate how Marceau, with a dancer's grace and keen comic timing, can flesh out whole worlds by himself, sharing indelible tales without speech (except for his appearance in Mel Brooks' 1976 film Silent Movie, in which he got the last, and only, word: "No!"). Since 1947, the Strasbourg-born Marceau has played Bip, a regular guy who, in his striped shirt and bell-bottoms, is by turns befuddled, ingenious, love-struck, and jaunty. His butterfly-catching, train-hopping antics recall, deliberately, another beloved silent icon: Charlie Chaplin.

Marceau's form of distilled storytelling reveals a faithful translator of body language, gesture, and expression. His influence is so broad that nearly anyone can enact his most famous "mimodramas" without having seen him perform. And after this year, we'll no longer have the chance: Now 80, Marceau has embarked on one last tour before the whiteface comes off for good. See him at 3 p.m. at the Marin Center Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags (at Civic Center), San Rafael. Admission is $20-50; call 472-3500. -- Heather Wisner

Child's play

SAT-SUN 4/12-13

San Francisco Mime Troupe is quite outspoken. The group doesn't mince words when it skewers social injustices and the follies of our leaders, making its free agitprop productions a much-admired summer tradition. When the company's not out rabble-rousing, it's training future generations to be just as forthright through its Youth Theater Festival, an eight-week workshop during which loudmouthed high-schoolers are taught to enunciate for art's sake. At the end of it all, the teens put on a short play -- and not just another take on Romeo and Juliet, either. This year's show couldn't be more current: It's called "Conflict: Near and Far." Catch it Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Diego Rivera Theater, 50 Phelan (at Judson), S.F. Free admission; call 285-1717. -- Lisa Hom

About The Authors

Lisa Hom

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"