ART: Fantastical ‘Mummenschanz’ Returns to New York for the Holidays
NOTE: All photos courtesy of Mummenschanz. Limited four-week holiday engagement in New York at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from Dec. 11, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013.
Switzerland’s beloved groundbreaking theater company Mummenschanz returns to North America for the first time since 2003 celebrating its 40th anniversary with an imaginative new program from the four-piece ensemble helmed by Mummenschanz artistic director and co-founder, Floriana Frassetto. The two-hour show runs for a limited holiday engagement at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from Dec. 11, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013. It’s a visually transcending experience with all the wonder and delight unfolding before your eyes. Colorful, fluorescent forms shape shift and shimmy on a sparse stage bathed in shadow and light sans music or words.
Silence truly is golden, and it was a welcomed refuge for many attending Wednesday night’s performance at the NYU campus in Greenwich Village. Of course, few could resist joining in whenever children’s laughter filled the hall. And, that was often. Members of Mummenschanz, clad entirely in black body suits, playfully engaged and entertained audience members throughout a series of sketches depicting the human condition and nature’s surreal side. “The theatrical mysteries that they deal in are singularly personal creations, the products of fantastic visions and a stunningly sharp and original world view,” raves the Vancouver Sun (Canada). And, the New York Times praises Mummenschanz’s “witty madness” noting that “things are seldom what they seem: that is the clue to all its dazzling and delightful parables.”
Founded in 1972 by Swiss artists Bernie Schürch and Andres Bossard with Frassetto, Mummenschanz had a successful run on Broadway from 1977-80, influencing generations to come in an art form which “put its mark on the Mime-Masque Theater,” according to the company’s official Web site. Never before or since has a non-verbal show succeeded on Broadway for three consecutive years.
“We’re deeply honored by all of the support over the years and our meaningful connection with North America, which has always welcomed and embraced Mummenschanz,” Frassetto said. “We’re thrilled to mark this occasion by reveling with longtime fans there and making new friends through sharing a special new theater experience.”
Mummenschanz (NYC tickets): http://mummenschanznyc.com/
Mummenschanz Foundation: http://www.mummenschanz.com/en/