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BEST STAGE PRODUCTION Minneapolis 2002 - Want

Well, Andrew Kim is gone, at least temporarily. This multi-hyphenate talent, last year's Best Director choice in City Pages, has packed up his masks and puppets and moved to Seattle (although word has it he will return to assist in this year's May Day Parade). But before ditching the Twin Cities, Kim left us with a magnificent example of his talent. Titled Want and directed by Michael Sommers at the Center for Independent Artists, Kim's show involved four wordless, masked scenes. He brought to this material the full range of his skills, including puppetry and commedia dell'arte-style performing. One sequence in particular stands out in our memory for its eloquence and haiku-like concision. Kim, wearing a battered business suit and a mask with a rueful facial expression, pauses to play a bamboo flute. Producing only puffs of tuneless air, he turns his attention to the newspapers lining his briefcase. Horrified to tears by the news he reads, he turns the newspaper into a tiny effigy and then ceremoniously burns it. Returning to his flute, he now pipes out a mournful dirge as the effigy blackens and turns to ash before him. Kim, it seems, can be more expressive in silence than most performers are with poetic dramatic passages.

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