Shadows of the Bakemono 

Through Dec. 20

click to enlarge art9905widea.jpg

I’m a less-is-more kind of guy; the more high-concept a production is, the better the chance that something is going to go horribly wrong. However, with Shadows of the Bakemono, Meat & Potato Theatre succeeds in bringing together five different playwrights, puppets, masks and the Japanese version of scary campfire stories. This is ambitious stuff, and the result is compelling and entertaining.

Starting with a samurai tiger hunter and ending at a modern-day anime “cosplay” (costume play) party, director Tobin Atkinson—who also wrote one of the interludes and designed all of the puppets—takes the audience through Japanese history with original tales by local playwrights. Though disparate in voice and distinct in puppet styles, the five tales share a genuinely creepy edge.

The puppets themselves are charming, innovative and downright cool, with outstanding costume design by K.L. Alberts. The cast of ninja-black-clad puppeteers bring them to life with uncanny body language and stylized voicework that is appropriate for the folklore quality of storytelling without coming off as gimmicky and contrived.

A recent transplant from Washington, D.C., Meat & Potato Theatre is dedicated to giving emerging talent opportunities to ply their craft. Shadows of the Bokemono itself is a product of its Playwright’s Laboratory, a joint project with Plan-B Theatre Company, created to develop local writing talent. With big theatricality—like puppets and masks—as part of its mission statement, I’m looking forward to seeing what this company can pleasantly surprise me with next.

Shadows of the Bakemono @ Rose Wagner Center Studio Theatre, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, through Dec. 20. MeatAndPotato.org

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of The Essentials

  • Brandon Mull: Beyonders

    Thursday April 14 @ The King’s English Bookshop
    • Apr 14, 2011
  • The Perfect Fit

    Through April 3 @ Kimball Art Center
    • Mar 31, 2011
  • Utah St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

    On Saturday, March 12, the Hibernian Society of Utah's traditional Salt Lake City downtown St. Patrick's Day parade winds through the Gateway from 400 West and 200 North beginning at 10 a.m. ...
    • Mar 11, 2011
  • More »

About The Author

Rob Tennant

Bio:
Rob Tennant is a Salt Lake City freelance writer.

More by Rob Tennant

  • Jingle Plays

    Two theater companies present family-friendly holiday productions.
    • Dec 10, 2013
  • Review: Pioneer Theatre Company's Other Desert Cities

    If Pioneer Theatre Company’s Other Desert Cities were one of your co-workers, it would be that guy down the hall who’s name is probably Jim, but you’re not sure enough to actually call him that out loud
    • Oct 29, 2013
  • Rent @ Utah Repertory Theater

    Review: Small-scale production muddles the modern classic
    • Sep 24, 2013
  • More »

Latest in Entertainment Picks

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

‚Äč

Readers also liked…

  • Essentials: Entertainment Picks Jan. 1-7

    The 1990s are back for the University of Utah men's basketball program, so put on your Andre Miller throwback jersey, pop a mixtape of your favorite grunge tunes in your Walkman and roller-blade on over to the Huntsman Center.
    • Dec 31, 2014
  • Essentials: Entertainment Picks Jan. 22-28

    The Sundance Film Festival brings a party atmosphere to Salt Lake City every year, and SB Dance wants to bring a local flavor to that party.
    • Jan 21, 2015

© 2016 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation