THE BELLY BUTTON DREAM
nytheatre.com review by Sarika Chawla
It’s short and it’s bizarre. It’s puppetry featuring people. The
Incredible Edible Puppet Company’s The Belly Button Dream
features a little girl named Katie (Katharine A. Brehm) who relives a
nightmarish dream in a Freudian frenzy. With a giant papier-mache belly
button strapped on to her waist, Katie emerges from a cardboard house to
meet her mother. Only it’s not her mother, it’s the Alpha Mother (David
Sicherman), clad in a flowing green dress and a cardboard blond wig.
When he tries to stick his tongue in her belly button, a crowd of
mothers storm out and mayhem ensues. Over the course of the next thirty
minutes, this scene is played and replayed in many different ways, each
of them eerie and unique.
August 15, 2002
The performance is oddly disturbing, and perhaps, as the cast discusses after the show, it’s because the belly button is an emotionally charged topic that few people talk about. Or perhaps it is the vision of three stone-faced men in housedresses and yellow cardboard wigs skittering and stomping about the stage and waggling their tongues. As the scenes are repeated, the performance becomes somewhat lackluster, accentuating the show’s rough edges. However, Brehm, who also directed the piece, stands out as she bubbles with energy as a confused yet strong-willed little girl. Performances by Sicherman (who is truly creepy as the Alpha Mother) and dancer Holly Seidel also shine as they throw themselves wholeheartedly into their roles. It’s a strange journey, but The Belly Button Dream is certainly a trip into offbeat creativity and offers up a whole new perspective into the fine art of puppetry.