Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Madness in Miniature

The House Theatre presents Madness in Miniature.

Performer, designer and puppeteer Meredith Miller stars in this elegantly macabre evening, which recreates the early 20th-century practice of parlor entertainment featuring toy theater and adult puppetry. Accompanied by live jazz and ragtime on grand piano, Miller evokes an Edward Gorey-esque vibe that tells a story of love and loss.

Meredith Miller’s hour-long escape into the depths of the Chopin Theatre’s opulent lounge recaptures the intimate feeling of the time when people performed toy-theater and puppetry for each other as live entertainment in their parlors. The mood is evocative of the artwork of Edward Gorey—elegant, macabre, understated, and hovering somewhere between Victorian and Art Deco. And by pairing a line-up of intimate, lush puppetry performances with virtuosic jazz and ragtime played live on a grand piano, we have the feeling of having slipped back in time and found ourselves in a mysterious, timeless, parlor populated by dark humor macabre notions of love and loss.

Meredith Miller is a Chicago-based designer and performer of original object-based theatrical works. Her recent work includes The Abduction, originally created for "The World is Flat! A Weekend of Toy Theater" at Chicago's Links Hall, where she shared the bill with Great Small Works. Following this performance, Meredith was invited to appear in Open Eye Theater's annual Toy Theater After Dark festival in Minneapolis, and Great Small Works' 9th Annual Toy Theater Festival in New York.

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