Synesthesiais a nifty revue featuring theater performers from eight different disciplines who have found a way to collaborate with each other in an organic and crowd-pleasing way. The annual show, which was first produced back in 2007, works like this: its performers are given a simple theme; this time around, it’s fortune.
First up is aerial artist (Ruby Karen), whose acrobatic moves portray a woman whose unhappiness is alleviated when she encounters a circus clown (Luca Cecchini). Silently but graphically, the two of them fall in love via mime, dance and dazzling trapeze stunts.
The next artist, spoken-word specialist Aldo Pisano, was given two weeks to write a piece inspired by what he had just seen. When done, he then handed the creative baton to songwriter John Bobek, who (accompanied by singer Nora Davis and drummer Matt Lucich) proceeds to do his thing. That's how it goes all night, with each successive artist building on the last, riffing like jazz musicians on a basic theme.
The cast included projection designer Marc Rosenthal (working with dancers Michelle LaVon and Russia Hardy); singer Michael Bonnabel (with guitarist Ken Weiler); commedia dell'arte performer John Achorn; singer/composer Rocco Vitacco; the chef/actor Michael Dunn. Each one performs in polished, admirable fashion, with Achorn and Vitacco providing the belly laughs.
Enhancing the evening are Brandon Lopez's video interludes: brief talks by the artists which help set the stage for what follows. The big credit for the success of Synesthesia, though, must go to Cate Caplin, who has directed tricky material with a deft, sure hand.