Monday, December 8, 2008

"Wrapping Paper Caper": ☼ ☼ ☼ 3/4 BANG !

Wrapping Paper Caper is every bit as good as it's ever been, and maybe even better. For ten years Marin County's Liebe Wetzel has been doing something we never think is possible, even as we feel it transpiring before our eyes on stage: she gives our imaginations the green light to take us over. Our brains know it's her troupe, dressed in black clothing to render themselves invisible, who are really taking that cardboard toilet paper roll insert, or a piece of red wrapping paper, or a brown rag, and turning them into the dimwitted inspector, the French vamp (The Damsel in Dis Dress) or the scuba-diving creature made out of packing peanuts. But our Christmas-addled hearts hunger to get in on the fun. And so we do. This is the rare show where the children in the audience scream with delight, but don't enjoy the show any more than their parents do.

As Liebe Wetzel's Lunatique Fantastique has continued to create new works, some even for adults, she has made stars out of the most mundane everyday items -- not only wrapping paper but napkins, bread rolls, boxes, newspaper and PVC pipe. Don't expect huge production values -- but do expect to be transported into another realm. Best of all, the show has nothing at all to do with computers or space-age graphics or sound effects. The cast does it all. God, what a relief.

One last note: A ticket is only $10 bucks and the show lasts a little less than an hour. Don't let Wrapping Paper Caper go by another year without wrapping you up in its spell.


RATINGS: ☼ ☼ ☼ 3/4 BANG !

The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "Wrapping Paper Caper" Three and Three Quarter stars with a Bangle of Praise. If there were a real story, or a premise, or anything at all to involve the intellect a tad more, Wrapping Paper Caper would be a solid Four Star performance. As it is, the Bangle of Praise is well deserved for the beautiful undersea ballet performed by the scuba diver and the inspector. The exclamation point is just because we feel like it. For something to do with your own kids or kids you import for this purpose alone, we couldn't recommend Wrapping Paper Caper any more highly.


"Wrapping Paper Caper"
The Marsh
1062 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Sat-Sun, 3PM, with 2 Monday shows, through Jan. 4

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