|Rihards Zalupe and Elina|
Gaitjukevica from Latvia
As the show opened, Elina was sitting on the floor behind a large book that covered her body and face. Her feet began to dance with the music created by Rihards on his elaborate set-up that included a synthesizer, different types of drums, chimes, a xylophone and probably some other instruments that I missed. (The music was amazing.) Soon her arms came to life and then her body as she danced across the floor with a paper butterfly that emerged from her book.
After the rain dried up, the sun came out, and she made shadow puppets on a canvas using her hands and the stage light. Rihards set his synthesizer on the equivalent of autopilot and came out to join the fun. The butterfly atop the stage began undulating as it flapped its wings. It was a wonderful performance.
I have to admit to wondering if the afternoon's performances would hold up to the morning of theater that I had seen. They did.
|Actors from the Henan Qu Opera Troupe|
The performance was funny and charming, the music was great, and the costumes and make-up were extraordinary. It was a wonderful introduction to Chinese opera.
|Members of the Lieder Theater Company|
|Josh Waters as Truffaldino|
All in all, WorldFest 2014 was a fabulous celebration of theater with lots of laughs -- and a few tears -- along the way. Every day was punctuated with moments that surprised me and made me shake my head in wonder at the creativity and talent of the people onstage. It was a reminder of why I love live theater so much.
It was announced at the closing ceremonies that Venice Theatre will once again host WorldFest in 2018. I will be the first one ponied up at the ticket counter when the box office opens.