Attack Theatre outside usual holiday box
Fresh perspectives come naturally to the folks at Attack Theatre. So, it's no surprise that their holiday show doesn't resemble a Currier and Ives print.
Yet, the company's physical inventiveness serves a story with a moral summarized by the show's slogan, “It's better to dance with a box on your head than worry about what's inside.”
Saturday's daytime performances will be followed or preceded by extras for kids: games, jumping around and interactive entertainment.
The show grew out of a request from Gateway to the Arts for a holiday offering to be done in schools.
“When we looked around at the panoply of (existing) offerings, we saw nothing that interested us,” says producing artistic director Peter Kope. “So, we invented our own story, a show that was fun, clever, basically non-denominational but still celebrating this season of giving.”
They tapped a wide variety of music, including Klezmer, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and jazz versions of Christmas classics. After enjoying performing the show, and seeing how well it was received, Attack Theatre decided three years ago to begin presenting “Holiday Unwrapped” on its own series of performances.
“So, a holiday tradition for Attack Theatre was born,” Kope says. “Besides, my son Zander still loves it. (He's 4 now and) asks to see the show where Dane (Toney) dances with the box on his head.”
The story follows Clara during the season of fevered shopping, of giving and getting, as she proves worthy of receiving. The protagonist of the most-famous holiday dance piece, “The Nutcracker,” is named either Clara or Marie, depending on the production. Attack Theatre's Clara will not receive a magical nutcracker.
“Her three friends each give her a special present, and, in each case, it's not exactly what she hoped for — one is a stiletto shoe, one a pair of oversized combat boots, and one a pair of socks,” Kope says.
Given Attack Theatre's orientation, Clara's uses for her presents leads to full-on hard dancing.
“The one stiletto shoe allows her to spin really well on one leg as the Sugar Rum Cherry,” he says. “The oversized combat boots initially weigh her down until she figures out how to manage them and dances a karaoke version of ‘Blue Christmas.' ”
The socks, with imagination, prove perfect for ice skating to a Christmas waltz.
“Clara has to figure out how to take that which is given to her and be gracious about it, to find a way to make it work rather than complain,” Kope says.
Mark Kanny is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- Employers start to feel wage pressures
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- Mon Valley called ‘ground zero’ for blight
- North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
- 2 teens charged in shooting in New Castle
- Friday’s scouting report: Pirates at Rockies
- Pirates’ Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer’s role
- Well-traveled Clemons trying to find home with Carolina Panthers
- Piano prodigy shared by teaching, composing
- Armstrong Concert Band performing Saturday in Ford Cliff