Funny, sad, and ultimately moving, Gale LaJoye's Snowflake has returned home for a 25th anniversary run at the Children's Theatre Company.
LaJoye's hour-long exploration of a homeless man's endlessly inventive imagination takes everyday objects and plenty of junk and creates inventive set pieces: a suitcase stuffed with old clothes turns into the family dog; the front end of a VW bug opens up to become our character's bed, complete with nightstand and teddy bear.
LaJoye, dressed like Red Green and wearing a pair of black high-top Converse All-Stars, silently floats through a string of set pieces, aided by Victor Zupanc's score. Like LaJoye's performance, the music accents both the whimsy of what we are seeing, and the lingering sadness that this inventive soul spends his time alone.
There's certainly a Charlie Chaplin vibe going on in Snowflake. There's plenty of clowning here, such as in the very beginning, when LaJoye gets his suspenders stuck on one of the planks of the fence at his back-alley home. It takes some comic contortions and a bit of bouncing up and down on the stretchy suspender before he can free himself.
From there, LaJoye moves between physical routines and ones where the everyday objects become something greater, such as the show's signature moment as he uses a pair of skis to perform a ballet around the stage.
There's also sadness surrounding this lonely man, who works to create his own family out of the objects around him. A doll of a young child becomes an animated puppet in his hands, which he works to entertain with his routines.
Kids will enjoy all of the slapstick. Adults will too, but may find extra depth amid the silliness.
IF YOU GO
Snowflake Through February 22 Children's Theatre Company 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis $10-$58 For tickets and more information, call 612-874-0400 or visit online.