Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gotham Chamber Opera's "El gato con botas (Puss in Boots)"

Now here's a poor cat in a whole lotta trouble--and sans boots. But just you wait!
(photo: Richard Termine)

Are you tired of Nutcrackers? Want something a little different this season?

Then head to El Museo del Barrio where Gotham Chamber Opera and Tectonic Theater Project bring the fun with their opera/puppet show production of composer Xavier Montsalvatge's El gato con botas (Puss in Boots), directed by Moisés Kaufman and conducted by Neal Goren.

Yes, fairy tale fun for all ages. I'm sure the adults among you will have more nightmares from staring at the looming, lurching Ogre (the excellent bass Kevin Burdette) than will the little kiddies.

The Ogre in his dark castle
(photo: Richard Termine)

What you'll have to watch for with the kids is that they, like you, will fall in love with the desperate, wily Cat and take away the lesson that lying is an acceptable practice. Oh, wait. They've already learned that from the news.

Hmmm. The wiliness of this cat might be no match for the survival instincts of these rabbits.
(photo: Richard Termine)

A poor miller (baritone Craig Verm) receives an inheritance. Hooray? Not quite.

It's not riches. It's a big-eyed orange tabby (voiced last night by the supple mezzo-soprano Karin Mushegain), scrawny, trembling, weeping at the man's swift rejection. But this is one determined cat. Facing sure death, kitty brainstorms an elaborate plan to bring good fortune--and the love of a good woman--into the life of this simple (and clearly not PETA-friendly) fellow.

The cat knows a thing or two about gullibility and works it, and the forces of nature, to amazing effect. Along the way, we get to enjoy some deliriously amusing Bunraku puppetry by London's Blind Summit Theatre and choreography by Seán Curran.

As it turns out, so many lives are saved--and changed--by the actions of one feline who would not take no for an answer. Sure, take your kids. That's a damn good lesson.

El gato con botas continues through this weekend on the following schedule:

Thursday, December 11, 7pm
Friday, December 12, 7pm
Saturday, December 13, 2pm
Saturday, December 13, 7pm
Sunday, December 14, 2pm

For more information and tickets, click here.

El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Avenue (between 104th and 105th Streets), Manhattan
(map/directions)

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