Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thai Puppet Show

On Monday night we went to a performance of the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre. It was founded by a Thai man who wanted to bring back the traditional Thai art form - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakorn_Yang-keawsot
One of Craig's co-workers is Thai and she invited us to the event. It was commemorating the 84th birthday of the King of Thailand. The Thai consulate-general was there. Thanks to watching too many Bond movies I expect diplomats and their staff to be intriguing people, this dude looked like he'd have been more comfortable in an engineering department not being forced to socialize.
The puppets are operated by three people. They recruit puppeteers with dance backgrounds because all three people's movements are precisely choreographed. They told the mythological story of why there are lunar eclipses. The story begins with the white monkey chasing a beautiful girl in the moonlight, but there is an eclipse and he loses her in the dark. We then jump to the Gods and Demons fighting. The show wasn't just puppets, there were also some people in really blinged out costumes who fenced to symbolize the big battle. The gods decided to drink a magic elixir to get the upper hand on the demons. However, one of the demons sneaks a sip and also becomes immortal. The moon witnesses this and tattletales to the god in charge. This god cuts the demon in half, but because he's now immortal he isn't dead, just half the man he used to be. He eats the moon to avenge his missing half. But, because he has no bottom the moon just slips out. When there is an eclipse the demon has seen the moon and has eaten it, temporarily blocking its light. After all of this we jumped back to the monkey and beautiful lady. They came down into the audience so people could get a better look. Since I was on an aisle I got a kiss on the check from the beautiful lady. The monkey man was busy causing trouble.

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