Doug Fitch, as director and puppet inventor, has come up with a seventy-minute piece for the puppet theater stage and his perfect string-pulling crew that is both poetic and laced with slapstick humor.
A well-dressed, middle-aged man steps into a soulless, modern hotel room, puts down his bags, plants himself in a chair, then slips into an existential crisis. From his balcony on the 36th floor, he watches airplanes pass by, weighing his options in life. Where should he go? What should he do? The clouds do not reveal to him why his opera contract was terminated, or why his wife left him….or why so many things are the way they are. Maybe suicide? Suddenly, the hatstand in the room starts going on about its own identity problems. It explains that it always wanted to be a lamp. Is he hallucinating then, when all the offerings from the minibar come to life and convince him to dance? Eventually, the whole room wildly comes to life, reassuring him that the struggle underway is worth the battle.
A humorous, silent-movie-like meditation on what makes life worth living in the face of our own demons, Punkitititi (Breakfast Included) is a musical collage, assembled from Mozart's finished and unfinished - best-known and unknown compositions. The questions at the heart of the story are simple ones, which, when underscored by Mozart, have musical empathy that only seems possible had he taken a similar journey of self doubt and recovery. It’s about how happiness is not about hiding from suffering, but about integrating it into the fabric of our lives. Punkititi is an allegorical personification of this nagging emotion that haunts us all at some point or another and causes us to ask: why wake up tomorrow?
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