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December 9th, 2009 India Nicholas | Performance
 

Tiger Lilly And Sunny Lu (Do Jump!)

Do Jump! creates catnip out of physical theater.

     
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My college roommate is normal on the surface. But she is also a “cat person.” Cats on her T-shirts, cats on her coffee mugs, and two little cats in our apartment, Abraham and Blanket, who destroy all available scarves, shoelaces and mice.

Do Jump!’s new holiday show is for cat people. Tiger Lilly and Sunny Lu: Cirque de Chat chronicles the escapades of two house cats as they face daily feline dilemmas like being teased by the alley cat, successfully catching a toy, or fighting over who gets the sunny spot on the couch. All of this is acted out by a cast of veteran acrobats, dressed in spandex costumes, bouncing on trampolines and from bungees, and swinging from trapezes. Performed at Do Jump!’s longtime home, the Echo Theater, what Sunny Lu lacks in substance, it makes up for in skilled physical comedy. A human being acting like a sick cat with a medical cone stuck on its head is genuinely hilarious, I swear. Do Jump! founder Robin Lane wrote and choreographed the show, though the brief interludes of text—presented as the ominous inner voice of one cat played over a loudspeaker—are disconnected and end up seeming unnecessary. The live music, charming melodies performed by local musicians, is juvenile but sweet. And the fact that the band performs as pet fish in a tank on the stage is genius.

All said, Do Jump! calls this show “family entertainment” for a reason: It’s not truly a show for adults. Every laugh echoing throughout the theater was that of a child. The story is so simple that adults, unless you’re like my roommate, may get bored. Regardless, all ages can appreciate the actors’ skills—lead kittens Tia Zapp and (understudy) Wendy Cohen moved their limbs with such seamless feline fluidity, I felt like I was back in my college apartment watching Abraham and Blanket fight over catnip. Indeed, Do Jump! makes its audience forget it is watching actors. And ain’t that just the cat’s meow.


GO: Do Jump!’s Tiger Lilly and Sunny Lu at Echo Theater, 1515 SE 37th Ave., 231-1232. 3 pm Dec. 13, 19-20, 26-27, and Jan. 2-3; 7:30 pm Dec. 11-12, 18-19, 21-23, 26, 28-30 and Jan. 2. $20-$32.
 
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