January 10, 1996
PREMIERE: HERE Arts Center
Written and directed by Lee Breuer
Produced by Mabou Mines and the Gertrude Stein Repertory Theater
Music by Ushio Torikai
Scenery and Lighting by Julie Archer
Projection Design Karen TenEyck
Costumes by Mary Pat Bishop
Sound: Edward Cosla
Puppets by Julie Archer, Basil Twist and Barbara Pollitt
Ruth Maleczech (Rose)
Fred Neumann (Bunny)
Clove Galilee (Leslie)
Leslie Mohn (Sri Moo)
John F. Kennedy Center, Washington, DC (March 20, 1995), HERE Arts Center (January 10. 1996)
“She has a dog’s life, a real cynical business, but her death is pretty and her reincarnation a magnificent spectacle. She is, of course, Rose, who began as a mere puppy years ago in “A Dog’s Life,” the first part of Lee Breuer s epic trilogy, “Animations,” and who now comes full circle in the last section, “An Epidog,” given a spectacular production by Mabou Mines and the Gertrude Stein Repertory Theater. The play runs through Sunday at the Here Art Center, 145 Avenue of the Americas, at Spring Street in SoHo.
With the help of an enchanting computer-created background, a score of inspired puppeteers and actors, haunting music by Ushio Torikai, and seductive puppets and a surprise-filled set by Julie Archer, Mr. Breuer makes his elaborate tale more coherent than many of his past works. Viewers who do not know the rest of “Animations” and some other Breuer pieces that are referred to here may miss some comic connections. But who cares?
What you do catch onto here is splendid and teasing entertainment. You are never sure whether Rose’s musings on feminism and science at a “last brunch” a la Leonardo are not mere sendups of the women’s movement and rationality. And it seems certain that the philosophical pronouncements of Rose’s guru, a Balinese cow called Sri Moo, are meant to ridicule Eastern mythologies and that the antics of Rose’s friend and biographer Bunny, a rabbit who could provoke envy in Lewis Carroll, are meant to teach us we can never know the truth about anything.
Rose may be an old dog and then a dead one, but she’s hipper than most poor humans will ever be. And her rebirth at the end is stunning.”
—D.J.R Bruckner, NY Times