The Bread and Puppets Theatre, May 2017

At the Carrie Morris performance space on May 19th.

I’ve seen performances by the Bread and Puppets Theatre several times over the years.

I was glad to see them return to Detroit for a 5-day stand.  They involved the local community into their shows and worked in responses to local issues and problems.

The May 19th performance was an Insurrection Mass with a Funeral March for a Rotten Idea.  It took place at CMAP in Detroit.

It was a bit cold out and there was some rain.  The weather wasn’t bad though.  There was a large and responsive audience. It was an excellent performance, well done, moving and sometimes funny.

In front of the Detroit Institute of Arts, May 20.

The next day, May 20th, they staged the Whatforward Circus! on lawn at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This was especially strange and magical.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt really glad to be there.

A few bits were repeated from the CMAP show, yet a lot of it was different. Again, they used a good group of local performers as part of the troupe. The  dancing horses returned.  They seemed to chase each other, going around and around.  There was also a tiger hunt.

Then a conductor with a baton led a group of Disgruntled Harmonists. First he conducted a group of the performers onstage. Later, he conducted the audience, breaking it into sections. We had fun shouting out howls or hoots of displeasure and disgust.

Like the night before, it ended with a sort of funeral/ celebration parade. This included a flag and a circular ribbon banner that kept moving.  As the show ended, and they served bread, it soon started raining.  It was nice of the rain to wait for the show to finish.

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I also caught part of the Sunday May 21st show.  Due to stormy weather, it was held indoors at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Rivera Court.  It was similar to the May 20th show. It was harder to see over people’s heads. Also the sound had more echo.  It was hard to make out all of the words.

As I was leaving, I heard a patron say “I don’t see why they have to add all the politics! Why can’t they let entertainment be entertainment and let politics be politics.”

To that I say:

Why do so many politicians these days have to have so much entertainment in their politics?  Why can’t they take real life more seriously?  The White House and Capital Hill aren’t supposed to constitute a Reality TV Program.

If they start leaving entertainment out of the politics, maybe we’ll start leaving more of the politics out of our entertainment.

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The Bread and Puppets Theatre:

http://breadandpuppet.org/

The May 17-19th performances were here:

https://www.carriemorris.com/

The May 20-21st performances were here:

https://www.dia.org/

More information:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/events/obscura-day-2016-bread-and-puppet-museum-and-theater

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_Puppet_Theater

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