Delivering the goods on the 2012 FronteraFest Long Fringe
'The Crapstall Street Boys'
Here's a Long Fringe show that comes in two parts: first, a minicircus, and next, a puppet play.
Circus Chickendog gave about 15 minutes of lovely, innocent circus entertainment; what it lacks in expensive three-ring pizzazz it makes up for in simple fun.
Then Trouble Puppet Theater Company presented its newest creation, a dark and sad story about a lonely boy who believes his name is "You Lad" for want of being called anything else. You Lad's parents sell him to a factory so they can get money to buy protection from the monsters roaming their town. Once in the factory, You Lad discovers the sad secret behind the monster invasion.
Steve Moore narrates the story, and one of the puppeteers carries a camera amidst the action. An upstage screen shows what the camera sees, providing a different and more intimate view of the story. The technology isn't quite there yet – the feed was inconsistent – but the concept is interesting. As a finished show, it's a little rough, but taken as a workshop production, The Crapstall Street Boys is fascinating and worth seeing as an exploration of a new direction in the company's work. One of Trouble Puppet's strengths is harnessing good talent and seeing where it can take them. The Crapstall Street Boys fortunately follows this trend. – Elizabeth Cobbe
Saturday, Feb, 4, 6:45pm, Salvage Vanguard Theater. Running Time: 45 min.