Wednesday night, in a performance space a few blocks off State Street in West Asheville, renowned political puppetry troupe Bread and Puppet Theater treated a couple of hundred spectators to its unique form of vaudevillian moral commentary.
At times sobering, most often funny, the one-hour performance was rife with grotesque masks, stilt walkers, a band of rotating musicians and—how to put this—a quartet of clogging frogs flogging themselves with their own tongues. Donning handmade costumes, un-electric instruments and simple white outfits, the talent of the cast was strong enough to both transfix and enchant while hitting on topics from the Iraq war to locally grown food.
Begun in 1963 in New York City, the theater is now based in Vermont and tours with messages of protest and anti-consumerism. This show, like many stops on their tours, spread through word-of-mouth only, but still managed to attract a packed house of spectators who piled on couches, sat on the floor and lined the walls. As those lucky enough to have caught word of the show found out, sometimes the only way to face the absurd is with absurdity itself.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer.