Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Orlando Fringe 2017 review: 'Baker's Dozen (12 Angry Puppets)'

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 2:41 PM

click to enlarge baker_s_dozen_2017_4x4.png
The baker has bought it, and all evidence (aside from a suspicious candlestick) points to his butcher boyfriend as the bad guy. It's up to a dozen of his puppet peers to sort through the evidence, and their own preconceptions, in the strangest legal drama I've seen since Cop Rock. In this absurd update of 12 Angry Men, creator-performer Adam Francis Proulx turns one Whatnot puppet — a generic Muppet character with interchangeable facial features — into a dozen diverse and distinct personalities during a funny and unexpectedly thoughtful exposé of prejudice in our judicial system.

Proulx performs exposed to the audience, with no attempt made at ventriloquism; instead, his facial expressions echo and amplify the puppet's gestures, creating the impression of a unified, breathing being. His manipulation is expert, with unique postures and voices for each character. But more importantly, the puppeteering is in service of a smart script that blends nursery-rhyme puns with sincerely moving Capra-esque pleas for tolerance. No matter what color you are — black, white or turquoise — or how many men you like to rub-a-dub-dub in a tub with, there's a heartfelt message hiding here beneath the felt and foam.

Baker's Dozen (12 Angry Puppets)
The Pucking Fuppet Co., Toronto, Canada
Red Venue
Wednesday, May 24, 8:30 PM
Friday, May 26, 5:30 PM
Saturday, May 27, 10:30 PM
Sunday, May 28, 2:30 PM

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