Thu, 25 January 2007
The Spirit Wife
"The Spirit Wife", a legend from the Zuni tribe of New Mexico, parallels the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It tells of a young man whose wife has died, and he goes on a quest to reclaim her from the land of the dead, with the aid of some enchanted animals. He does succeed, in a way, but he also pays a heavy price for his impatience. We present this story in the style of an old-fashioned movie trailer.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
This week we tell of our recent stay in Albuquerque, during which we performed at the brand spanking new Rio Rancho Library, took a chilly 20-mile bike ride that passed through Old Town, and toured the National Atomic Museum. We learned some interesting facts about radiation, saw a quaint display of atomic medical quackery, and viewed a film about the development and use of the bombs that devastated Japan. We also talk about the exhibit honoring the Navajo "code talkers" during World War II.
Dennis (the husband), Kimberly (the Spirit Wife) and Zephyr the narrator
Thu, 18 January 2007
This week we bring you the Russian folktale "Simple Ivan", one of our perennial favorites, and part of our newest production, "Quizzical Quests", which we opened this month. Onstage, we act out this story in pantomime. But since pantomime is rather difficult to see in a podcast, we've added vocies and more narration.
"Simple Ivan" is one of the classic "noodlehead" stories, with variants found in many cultures. (Ivan is the Russian equivalent of John or Jack.) Ivan is lazy and likes to just sit at home staring at the wall, so to trick him into going outside to get some exercise, his mother tells him that he might find some money. He takes the bait and goes out on an excursion, but doesn't find money; instead, he has a series of encounters in which he meets people under different circumstances, and doesn't know how to behave. He returns home after each incident, and explains to his mother what happened. She advises him what he should do, and he follows her advice on his next outing, but finds his newly acquired behavior to be totally and hilariously inappropriate for the next situation he discovers.
Although we are in Albuquerque this week, we discuss our experiences last week in Las Vegas, where we opened our new production. We try to wrangle some of the secrets out of Zephyr that he learned on his backstage tour at "Star Trek: The Experience". (He stays tight-lipped.) We also recount our delightful evening watching Penn and Teller's show; and Dennis recalls when he first saw them, then as two-thirds of a trio, performing in San Francisco in 1980.
Dennis, Kimberly (mom) and Zephyr (Ivan) Goza
Thu, 11 January 2007
The Iron Dragon
We're in Las Vegas, but we're talking about Reno and the Sierras. That's because this is our first podcast in three weeks, as we took a couple of weeks off during the holidays. So this week, we catch you up on what we were doing during that time - namely visiting Kimberly's parents in Reno and working feverishly to get our newest production ready. Don't think for one minute that we were taking a hoiday vacation - although we did manage to sneak in a skiing excursion to the Sierras.
And since we've spent some time lately in and near the California Gold Rush country, we bring you a story from tht region, a tale told by Chinese immigrants who helped build the railroad. We call it "The Iron Dragon", and it involves a group of laborers who come over to seek their fortune and instead find very harsh and dangerous working conditions. Several of them die on the job and one of the deceased workers returns in spirit form to haunt his comrades. They decide that in order to give rest to the souls of their fellow Chinese laborers, they must undertake a special construction project on the side.
A wonderful illustrated version of this story can be found in the book The Iron Moonhunter by Kathleen Chang (San Francisco: Children's Books Press, 1977).The Iron Moonhunter (Fifth World Tales)
Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza
Sat, 6 January 2007
No we have not fallen off the face of the earth. We just had to spend the last two weeks making props, and sewing costumes and pages for our giant oversized book that we use in our live stage productions. We have adopted a new dragon! Made a tree that grows rotten oranges and found an "odd" sage. We are happy to report that our new show went up today at a school in Las Vegas to roars of laughter! We'll be heading East from here -hope you get a chance to see us perform live.
We'll be back on Thrusday with a new story and tales of our travels to Reno and Las Vegas.
Thanks for hanging in there!
Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47 AM