Arts & Events

EYE FROM THE AISLE: “FORTUNE” by Ragged Wing (at 2055 Center Street in Berkeley} ends Sunday—DON'T MISS IT!

By John A. McMullen II
Friday May 25, 2012 - 09:49:00 AM
Keith Davis, atop; Addie Ulrey, Phil Wharton, David Stein, Annie Paladino
Ragged Wing Ensemble
Keith Davis, atop; Addie Ulrey, Phil Wharton, David Stein, Annie Paladino

I’m old and jaded, but sometimes serendipity strikes and I remember why I love theater.

There is theatrical magic happening in the recesses of a new building on Center Street off Shattuck in Berkeley.

(This review is far too short to do the specifics and the players justice, but it only plays thorough Sunday and I wanted to let you know NOT TO MISS THIS!) 

Amy Sass and her Ragged Wing Ensemble create full works with low-tech that wow the senses 

Remember when you made a silhouette show in the bedroom with a bed sheet for a screen? 

Or played with your doggy doll. They make that simple play into high art. 

It’s a serious foray into Commedia dell’Arte. 

Sass has assembled an extraordinary performing and creating group, but she is the star of the show in her mute, masked, rosy cheeked, pigtailed “fool” for love. Her grace and expressive movement are poignant I haven’t seen since Jackie Gleason’s “Poor Soul” on TV on Saturday Nights in my childhood. 

It’s got a short film that could be award winner, an intricate parable in silhouette about the life-sucking effects of modern life, and a piece about getting pregnant. With a half dozen cheap teapots (“I’m a little teapot) they take on the weighty and conflicting to procreate in world of 7 billion and growing. It has some extraordinary original music by Kate Kilbane, a cameo from a dog puppet that steals the show, and the choreography will make your mind swim. 

Notable performances are Annie Paladino’s incredibly balanced movement and Keith Davis as a dog puppeteer and each of his various roles, but each and every performer is highly talented and they work like, well, an ensemble should. 

Their method is called “Exquisite Pressure” which is a term used to describe the making of fast and furious artwork. 

A Fool’s Errand directed by core artist David Stein 

Atomic Intuition, written and directed by core artist Cecilia Palmtag 

Maybe Baby, written and directed by Amy Sass with music by Kate Kilbane 

No Outlet, a short film by Matt Jacobs and Amy Sass starring Keith Davis 

At The Osher Studio (in the Arpeggio Building) 2055 Center St off Shattuck in Berkeley 

Featuring Keith Davis, Kevin Dery, Kate Kilbane, Annie Paladino, Soren Santos, Amy Sass, Anna Shneiderman, David Stein, Addis Ulrey, Keenan Varley, Phil Wharton. 

Props, costumes Anya Kasizierski; lighting Linda Baumgartner; Stage manager Suzanne Birrell. 

Company Manager Elizabeth Durst .