Since 1979, Imago has been creating transformative theater that crosses boundaries traditionally associated with language, age and the physical realm. None other than the New York Times said of their work: “Theater like this opens the eyes to the possibilities of exploration in the vast realm of imagination.” The company’s trademark style – which combines masks, dance and slapstick with witty social commentary on the human condition – is the direct result of over thirty years of study, development, and practice. Not easily pigeon-holed, Imago has repeatedly proven unique in its ability to create both popular family-oriented fare as highly regarded as its critically acclaimed (and ambitious) productions for adults.
2016 PREMIERE: LA BELLE
For the first time in over 35 years, the acclaimed Imago Theatre has created a new fairy tale experience for audiences of all ages. La Belle, Lost in the World of the Automaton meshes elements of steampunk and automata with the original classic La Belle et la Bête.
Set aboard a steamship circa 1920 La Belle is the unlikely love story of the ship’s coal stoker (Sam Stoker) and one of the vacationers on the ship (Lady Rose). When she takes refuge from a storm while on deck Rose finds herself in Sam’s engine room far below. She is drawn to a myriad of trunks and treasures accumulated there, including objects of Sam’s own creation and discovers that he has constructed the story of La Belle et la Bête in the world of the automata (figurines brought to life by the ingenuity of clockwork mechanics). She also knows the story Beauty and the Beast and soon joins him in the telling. They become friends, beautifully melding the real and fantasy worlds while playing the characters of Belle and the Beast, and beyond their control they fall in love. Like a giant toy containing moving gears, machines and a backdrop of a whimsical ship, the physical set is a kinetic and animated environment from which over a 100 effects, puppets and automata emerge to tell this magical tale.
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