It was clear only a few minutes into the performance that the Mummenschanz tagline “les musicians du silence” was perhaps one of the most perfectly conceived ever. This act not only has an unbelievable command of silence, but equally one of simplicity.
The company, founded in 1972 in Switzerland hasn’t toured the United States for over 4 years. Their return, under the moniker “you & me” was a glorious expression of hope, love, understanding, cooperation, joy & acceptance all without only three sounds, one of which was the most powerful sound of all: Silence. The other two, a few random plucks on the strings of a set of violins (which in the hands of this troupe acted as faces) & a buzzing sound of an invisible fly.
The overall composition was one of such overwhelming power that the observer was literally transfixed in hypnotic fashion, as amorphous shapes, muppetesque bugs, lizards, letters, tulle seahorses, bundles of ruffles, strips of fabric, giant fans, even giant mylar eggs that rolled about the stage turning the audience into the size of ants in comparison. The child inside every member of the audience, regardless of their actual age, was ignited.
We left with one message: when one can separate from the physical form of the human body, incredible levels of understanding can occur. The human/political statement of everybody, or in the case of this performance everyTHING, just getting along were obvious & at the risk of sounding a bit cheesy, let me say that the vision put forth of us all accepting one another for what each is was quite simply beautiful.
Let me just say it: GO SEE THIS PERFORMANCE… it’s a MUST SEE!
Mummenschanz, is making their landfall once again on these shores with a limited 2 1/2 week run at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College on Manhattan’s West Side now through July 22nd. The cast includes founding member/Artistic Director Floriana Frassetto, along with accompanying performing members Christa Lee-Anne Barrett, Kevin Blaser, Sara Francesca Hermann & Oliver Pfulg. A special call-out is due to Technical Director Eric Sauge, who’s magic with the staging & lighting was unlike any we’ve ever seen before. Bravo to all!
- R. Scott French
Press Contact: Logan Metzler @ KSA PR
Photo Credit: mummenschanz.com / photographer: Marco Hartmann