It's a 'ZooZoo': Animals come to life in revue

Show combines dance, acrobats and illusion

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Dancing penguins, hopping frogs and worms doing handstands arrive in Augusta this week for a theatrical performance from Portland, Ore.-based Imago Theatre.

ZooZoo characters interact with the audience to make each show unique.  FRITZ LIEDTKE/SPECIAL
FRITZ LIEDTKE/SPECIAL
ZooZoo characters interact with the audience to make each show unique.

Described as “a madcap revue of illusion, comedy and fun,” ZooZoo is a show comprised of 12 theatrical pieces lasting three to eight minutes. The five-member cast dressed in costumes of animals or inanimate objects perform dance, acrobats, special effects and miming, said cocreator and codirector Jerry Mouawad.

“It’s like going to the zoo, the circus and another planet all at the same time,” he said.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Augusta State University Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre. Tickets are $20 from (706) 667-4100 or http://maxwelltheatre.aug.edu.

The show is performed without words to a musical score by Imago Theatre’s resident composer Katie Griesar. The visual work, intended for a family-audience, must be seen to fully understand its humor and meaning, Mouawad said.

“The adults are going to see different levels of humor and wit than the child sees,” he said.

ZooZoo played on Broadway at the New Victory Theatre in 2010. The Augusta stop is part of its second international tour where it has performed in China, Europe and across North America. The event is presented by ASU’s Lyceum Series.

Imago Theatre, founded in 1979 by Mouawad and Carol Triffle, is also known for its show titled Frogz. The theatre company specializes in mask theatre. The costumes worn in ZooZoo take six months to develop, Mouawad said. First modeled in clay, they are built from metal, plastic, paper mache, electronics and other materials.

During the show, characters interact with the audience making each show unique, fun and humorous, Mouawad said. The animals, including hippos, anteaters, polar bears and rabbits, take on human attributes and reflect on everyday situations in a human’s life.


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