Leap of the Imagination 

Whatever's in the water Frogz creators Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad are drinking, I'll take some too. The imaginative duo founded Imago Theatre in the American Northwest in 1979, first taking mask theater across the region and eventually growing to be an international touring outfit. Their show Frogz debuted on Broadway in 2000 to critical and commercial acclaim. On Saturday, November 18th, the show will hit the Germantown Performing Arts Centre, transforming the theater into a swirling concoction that is part surrealist's daydream, part vaudevillian's punch line, and part magician's sleeved hand. Influenced by Jacques Lecoq, the productions of (former Lecoq students) Triffle and Mouawad are physical extravaganzas, eloquent in the language of movement, finding comedy and tragedy in the poetry of biophysics.

The show features actors in lush and elaborate costume crawling, gliding, and traipsing across the boards in silent-storytelling vignettes full of whimsy and wonder. There are frogs, of course; there are lizards that look as if they've leaped from the mind of Ralph Steadman; there are penguins playing musical chairs; there's a cat trying to punch its way out of a paper bag; and there are larvae -- yes, larvae -- performing some pretty serious feats of tumbling.

Frogz is recommended for ages 3 and up. The staging and some of the costumes can be a little scary, but a solid framework of mysterious delight counterbalances the production. In other words, there's some pretty mind-blowing fun for the whole family.

"Frogz" at Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Saturday, November 18th, 7 p.m.

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