If my calendar year were a stage play, the holiday season would certainly be the final act. (Comedy or Tragedy?) And so Art imitates Life at Castle in the Air this year, especially upstairs, where we've arranged a most ambitious display of theatres, puppets, and masks. The centerpiece of it all, though, has got to be the photo booth. Flanked by larger-than-life Punch & Judy dolls (our stalwart manikins in yet another set of disguises), the photo booth truly does put you in the spotlight.
Even with all the theatrics at the shop, I still can't seem to get enough. Last night I went with my family to Berkeley Rep's staging of The Composer is Dead, a mystery by Lemony Snicket that features a live actor performing seamlessly alongside an entire orchestra of anthropomorphic instruments. The marionettes, shadow puppets, and other nearly-human performers are the creation of Erik and Jessica of Phantom Limb Company, and I was so glad to be able to meet them at last night's performance. I've been interested in toy theatres for my entire life, and made my fair share of puppets, and it was so inspiring to see in The Composer is Dead a finished product that involved so much work, imagination, and obvious love for the medium.
For as transporting as The Composer is Dead is, there's nothing like seeing original toy theatres. So if you haven't already stepped into the wonderland that is the San Francisco Museum of Performance & Design's "Worlds in Miniature" exhibit, you'll want to make sure to take it in while it's still here.
And for our Fourth Street friends and visitors, last weekend's performance from Caterpillar Puppets was such a smash that they've scheduled a command performance for December 22. Read more at the Fourth Street Shops website.