Overheard between two girls Thursday at a school show of “Black Light Magic: Halloween Dream:”
“How did they do that?”
“I don’t wanna know!”
That’s the magic of theater in two sentences: Wonder at the artistry onstage and a desire to live in that magical world without further explanation.
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They might have been talking about the ghosts who swept out over the young audience, eliciting shrieks. Or the disc jockey who hovered high in the air, scratching luminescent turntables. Or the life-sized velociraptor who trotted out to meet Katie, the little girl whose candy-fueled dreams yielded 45 minutes of gently spooky craziness.
Omimeo’s show, which runs at ImaginOn this weekend and next, imparts a few simple lessons. We can communicate through art – dance, in this case – with anybody, including a gross family of cave dwellers. All of us, dinosaurs and Pac-Man included, need our teeth brushed regularly. We should confront our anxieties instead of fleeing from them.
Yet it’s mainly about the joys of theater itself. Eight black-clad manipulators work invisibly and in silence, making Katie (played by wonder-eyed dancer Katie Matter) fly or fight with her pillows and sheets. Creatures appear and vanish, linger in the sky, pop out of nowhere. We accept everything we see without questioning it or wondering what’s making Katie dream these things up.
Though the bulk of the show uses black light, two sequences take place on a dimly lit, traditional stage. In one, Katie chats with the amiable velociraptor. (Kudos to Ed Bounds for his amazing work manipulating Dakota the Dino.) In the other, a movie director (ebullient Lazaro Memije) coaxes three audience members into recreating a scene with a hero, a heroine and a comical monster who gets his comeuppance.
Not a single sequence goes on too long. In fact, a couple seem too short, partly because abbreviated music cues (including “Ghostbusters”) don’t play out or begin and end jerkily. I didn’t notice any fidgeting throughout the show, and the audience – my ancient self included – seemed ready for more.