City Paper is not for tourists
Friday, July 15th, 10:30 pm Sunday, July 17th, 7:15 pm Sunday, July 24th, 2:00 pm
They say: “Witness the miraculous transformation of a purply-blue fuzzy lobster! Augustine must learn about life before transcending his environment. Experience a 12 puppet musical in an upscale restaurant fish tank. Submerge yourself in the sounds of The Mighty Heard!”
Lindsey’s Take: The tale of Augustine the lobster’s arrival to the tank is narrated by an old southern catfish – in song, with backup from a turtle, a seahorse and two prawns. It is a journey of self-discovery and friendship…with a lobster. In an aquarium.
The story plays out like an animated cartoon, with supportive, singing friends, crustacean crushes and musical messages of acceptance. This could almost be a family show, but some of the lines might go over the kids’ heads, and a few semi-bleeped curse words and a thinly-veiled pot reference may not. Lessons on accepting others and being who you are abound, countered by repeated comical banter between a prawn and a piranha and a few puns thrown in for good measure. (Spoiler alert: The lobster gets eaten.)
Of the puppets, the seahorse stole the show, as the singing and the handling of the actor brought animation and life to this sassy and comical creation. A pacifist piranha, belligerent French prawn and philosophical pufferfish were also well-played and helped to carry the show. Simplicity would have better suited the set, but the attention was, rightly, on the puppets.
The blues number No Bones About It was a highlight, as was the quick gospel tune Braise Him, which addresses lobster-cooking methods. The soft jazz styles, however, left some clever lyrics unsupported. The cast of singing marine creatures was musically and artistically excellent as they brought each character to life in the aquarium.
See it if: You’re looking for something to which you can bring the kids or are an aquatic puppet musical aficionado.
Skip it if: Puppets, musicals or puppet-musicals arent your thing.
*See caveats on language & adult references. This is not necessarily a family show, though children were attendance at the performance I saw. And again, the lobster gets eaten.