The Fortune Teller at HERE

In 2006, the Phantom Limb Company made a splash with The Fortune Teller when it debuted as part of the Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE Arts Center. Now it returns for a special engagement starting on Halloween – and you don’t want to miss it!

This delightfully macabre marionette play in miniature is created and directed by Erik Sanko and Jessica Grindstaff (Phantom Limb Company), and features original music by Danny Elfman and Erik Sanko with narration by Gavin Friday.

The story is a simple one – a lawyer gets invited to a mysterious mansion to oversee the reading and execution of an enigmatic millionaire’s will. Gathered at the mansion are seven townspeople – each one representing, I think, one of the Seven Deadly Sins – who believe they are there to receive an inheritance. A Fortune Teller has also been invited and it is he who shall determine what each guest is to receive. Little do they know that they are all implicated in the millionaire’s death and over the course of the evening the Fortune Teller recounts how each of them will meet their demise.

The puppetry is imaginative and delightful, the story is charming, providing clever twists to oft-told tales. The set – with its surprise doors and hidden portals – is a triumph of economical design. The music  is fun and creepy and Gavin Friday’s narration is a pleasure. It is a simple show and it runs barely an hour but it shows the company off to good effect.

This spooky spectacle brings to mind gothic masters like Edward Gorey and Tim Burton in its playful, sinister fairy tale logic. Equally compelling for children and grown-ups alike, The Fortune Teller draws you into its world and never lets you go.  A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

The Fortune Teller plays at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue) from October 28 – December 4.

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