What makes FROGZ and Biglittlethings so popular? Sure the images are great. The masks are intriguing. The lighting and music are wonderful. Yet what really grabs the audience? I think if we had a snap answer to that question we could be rich (and we’re not.) If we had a snap answer to that question, we could be the new Disney (and we’re not.)
All I know is that for each piece, we searched for a human condition phenomena or “bit of business” or situation that resonated with most of the planet. Yes, that’s right, with most of the planet. Perhaps that is why so much of what we created landed on the of the cutting room floor. Pieces, which qualify this standard, exhibit at the center something about the human experience.
Here’s a quick stab at what I believe is at the center of each piece in ZooZoo (opens April 10th.)
Polar Bears Breaking the barrier between the real world and the fantastic is a great mischief. The stage is a sacred place, but the bears destroy it.
Bug Eyes Childhood memories of bugs and snakes and the magic of a summer night. The mystical time when the sun sets just right before you have to go inside.
Anteaters Hunger manifested by very long tongues.
Frogs All of us have trouble keeping up with peers who seem to always jump higher, no matter how hard we try.
Rabbits First you’re an animal, then you’re the one watching the animal, then, you’re the animal again. Rabbit Zen.
Paper Bag The phenomena of knowing inanimate objects are not real, yet seeing that the inanimate is more real than reality itself.
Hippos Marriage, insomnia and domesticity relived through the body of some very heavy hippos.
Dress Caper The abstract clown world. Don’t know why we like it, but things that are funny and transformational and absurd – we long for.
Penguins Sure it’s musical chairs, but when played by penguins, it’s a battle for who can win in the ongoing struggle to be best. The human condition on ice.
Paper Flair, imagery, choreography and finally the unmasking. Who are the people behind those masks? The magic revealed and yet maintained.