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Plastiques are back

Puppet show devised by Richard Gray of Pageant fame has a new look and new characters.

April 28, 2008|By Candice Baker

Who:  The Gray Foundation of Theatrical Arts

What: “The Plastiques in the Audition”

When: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. April 26 and 27

Where: Forum Theatre, Festival of Arts grounds

How Much: $12 adults, $8 children under 12

Information: (714) 434-6753 or www.kurogoproductions.com

Flying monkeys, black-lit fish and plastiogenetically engineered theater aficionados will descend upon the Forum Theatre this weekend, when The Plastiques return in their second show, “The Audition.”

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“It’s a much different show than last time,” creator and Artistic Director Richard Gray said. “It’s not an experiment anymore.”

Gray, the Pageant of the Masters’ choreographer for eight years, has a passion for puppetry; The Plastiques is chock-full of masks, marionettes and hand puppets.

The show’s namesakes are a handful of creatures fashioned from plastic detergent and soda bottles into a handful of lovable characters, each with their own personality and story to share in song, dance and zany humor.

The original characters were made into masks worn by human actors; their new puppet-style friends have jointed limbs. One can even dance en pointe.

The highlight of every show is when kids get the opportunity to see and touch the puppets and masks at the end of every show, during the “Snoop and Poke” session.

Gray was first inspired when he found that his nieces were unable to perform the mental shift required to turn a broom into a hobby horse, or a blanket and some chairs into a tent.

“It made me ask myself, ‘What can I do to stimulate some kind of imagination?’” Gray said. “That’s been the funnest part for me. My sense of humor can be very quirky, so adults can come to this and have just as much fun as the kids.”

This show begins the episodic tales of The Plastiques, Gray said.

“Basically, The Plastiques are starting a theater company,” Gray said. “This particular show is really about Eve, the lead female character.”

The sweet Plastique is out to make a name for herself, but doesn’t anticipate the requisite hard work that goes into a theater career.

Other characters that join The Plastiques include a stage manager, costume mistress and other theatre denizens.

They will also be joined by new friends from the same species, as well as the lovable Shih Tzu Mojo-san.

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