Jan 18, 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