[74] BEYOND THE LIGHT (Leila Ghaznavi and Pantea Productions): Fringe review

beyond-the-light-leila-ghaznaviBeyond the Light is a devised puppetry/theater/music/acrobatics/dance exploring unrequited love through whimsical, nighttime wonderment. A blonde boy and a black-haired girl stand in separate shadows, glimpsing one-another across a chasm of light. They reach but cannot touch. They struggle and they fearfully recoil. When darkness consumes them, figures in black robes produce fluorescent butterflies. Glowing moths flicker to life out of emptiness.

Leila Ghaznavi has devised some truly remarkable shadow and light puppetry. Gorgeous birds and insects and shockingly expressive masks are created out of simple tools LEDs and flashlights and aerial silks. Any landscape present on the simple stage is made of light and shadow. Less imaginative is the actual staging; at times I found myself wishing the puppeteers and acrobats would do more with the fantastic inventions they brought on stage. The glowing blue butterflies generally just swoop in circles, their introductions providing the biggest surprises. An aerial hoop and two silks are performed on brilliantly in a couple of scenes, but generally stand upstage, unused but creating the expectation that they will be used. That said, this play has the constant upbeat energy of the pumping indie rock it plays to; it desires to make the most out of every moment, it just seems that it doesn’t completely know how to, yet. [Performance Garage]. September 8-21, 2013, fringearts.ticketleap.com/beyond-the-light/.

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