A Good Story Well Told

Tonight I saw Shek, the Musical. I thought it would be a little too juvenile and a kiddie show. (How people can afford $30-60 tickets to bring their children I will never know, although I often have the feeling children at a few shows were with grandparents.) But, back to my point. I was pleasantly surprised except for the farting and belching contest scene, the humor was very adult without being “blue.” It was a good story, well told. I got my money’s worth.

I learned that phrase from the great, legendary, Saint Louis puppeteer Art Pfaff. That was his key to a good puppet show. Way too often the national festivals and to some extent regionals, have the grand exprimental performance. Typically they can be identified by being full stage performances, with lightin cues, usually visible actors with puppets and often actors and puppets both. The result is the audience leaves the show (providing they choose to sit through the whole thing) saying “what was that all about?” or “I think it was about. . . .”

At one national festival the artist said the show was about the inadequacies of the current concept of God. I heard one theatergoer state “I think it was about abortion.” I actually thought that myself during one scene. “It is supposed to make your think!?” Well I am a college graduate with substantially higher than average IQ, and it did make me think. I thought I spent a lot of time and money to attend this festival and it was a waste of my time and money. Money I will continue to earn. Time once spent is gone. It and other shows like it, were a far cry from Art Pfaff’s “A good story well told.”

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