I’ve got bad news and I’ve got good news for you, folks. The bad news is, ‘Legs and All’ has only one more FRIGID Festival performance, and that’s practically sold out already. The good news is that this magnificent show has two nights added on for an extended run this coming week!
Here’s why you should go:
There are all sorts of things we can feel, going to the theatre. We can have our hearts touched by something tragic. (We can feel embarrassed when we see something awful.) We can balance at the edge of our seats with suspense. One of my favorite feelings—and rightly so—is joy. A wellspring of happiness rises up, and words to describe it become absolutely unnecessary. Legs and All brings joy to its audience while saying hardly a word.
The play, conceived by the brilliant Summer Shapiro and created with her costar, the delightful Peter Musante, must be seen to be believed. (That means I want you to go see it.) Virtually everything about this magical show is pitch-perfect. I couldn’t help think briefly of Triplets of Belleville, a likewise enchanting film which progresses almost entirely without dialogue. Words just aren’t necessary.
It’s odd: We start with French gibberish recorded by Musante (he confirmed it’s gobbledygook), before we’re introduced to a young man in rustic short-pants and suspenders, who discovers a ball in his attic… Okay: A word on the suspenders. And the ball. And the box. The crackers, the rose, the handkerchief, the chocolate cake. Summer Shapiro is a master clown, and shares her gift with Musante—who channels a boyish Roberto Benigni— to bring us some of the best physical comedy I’ve seen in years. Bill Irwin would be very proud of these two. (If you don’t know who he is, look him up.)
Anyway! Plot: The boy finds a girl in red with an expressive face and mountains of energy. The two gradually earn each other’s trust, and travel through the big box to a similar-yet-surprising world where the laws of gravity don’t apply, and the girl feels at home. It’s as good a place for two kids to get acquainted as any.