Adhesive Theater Project
in association with
Off the Leesh Productions
By EDMOND ROSTAND
Translated by KAY NOLTE SMITH
Teatro LA TEA at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street, 2nd Floor, NYC, April 28 – May 22, 2005
Directed by Cory Einbinder
Composers/Musicians Joel Griffin, Rob Caruso, Damien Lennon
Illustrators Jonathan Zeh, James Harley
Lighting Designer James Bedell
Costume Designer Suzanne Chesney
Puppets/Costumes Christiaan Koop PuppetsTalaura Harms, Diana Whitten, Cory Einbinder, Shari Johnson
Stage Manager Vinnie Colombo
Publicist Joe Trentacosta/springer Associates pr
Drae Campbell – Charles Goonan – Talaura Harms – Jessica Jolly
Kalle Macrides – Josh
McLane – Alanna Medlock – Madeline Muravchik
Orion Taraban – Aaron Unger
Simply put, CHANTECLER tells an animal allegory about a rooster who believes that his song has the power to raise the sun, the fancy female pheasant determined to prove him wrong and win his devotion, and the creatures of the night who want to silence his voice forever. Not unlike a human love triangle, except that here one of the rivals is the dawn of day itself, this promising premise, full of scandal, machismo and treachery, ran too long to hold the attention of children, and too repetitiously not to raise the ire of the largely adult audience.
There are some handheld puppets, but CHANTECLER is mostly performed by costumed actors. To that end, the production does include some interesting and innovative design elements. Aside from a flurry of finely feathered cocks, hens, chicks and the like, there are some metallic owls, a cat with glowing eyes, and a very pretentious peacock played like a club kid grown up and gone uptown. Of course, this being a symbolic sort of work, the animals are us, and they display all of the pride, envy, jealousy, violence, love and sadness humans do. They even get live musical accompaniment and an illustrator coloring in scenes via projector as the play unfolds.
What may be most significant about CHANTECLER is that it has not been seen in New York since it played on Broadway in 1911. Written in French by Edmund Rostand (of Cyrano de Bergerac fame), the play received a new English translation for this 21st Century debut. This aspect along with all the others makes for a heap of good intentions that, unfortunately, never gel into cohesive storytelling.
- Kessa De Santis -