Trash to Treasure

Welcome to Objeté, the trash heap of the imagination, where bits of wood, tools, toys, and antique furniture litter the landscape, left to rot in a forgotten wasteland. Produced by the Cosmic Bicycle Theater and the creative genius of the multitalented Jonathan Edward Cross, the show is a visually stunning feast for the eyes that springs to magnificent life in an explosion of childlike abandon and brilliant imagination. Equal parts puppet show and Dada cabaret, it offers pure magic that will enchant children and stir to life the sleeping child within those older. Discarded objects populate the world of Objeté, telling the tender story of Johnny Clock Works (aka Jonathan Edward Cross) and his assistant, Emmy Bean. Johnny longs to experience the world, to fly away, but he remains confined to his little corner of the world with his faithful friend by his side. As the delightful twosome bring the forgotten denizens to life with a mixture of humor, hope, and music, the audience witnesses a wonderful transformation as waste becomes raw materials and decaying debris turns into living beauty. An old grandfather clock lays eggs. An enamel coffeepot becomes a belligerent man. The blades of a fan form wings to fly. An eggbeater and copper mold take the shape of a dancing chorus girl. An antique trunk becomes a boat.

Imagination gives way to Johnny Clock Works's story amidst the backdrop of a silly cabaret. Emceed by a gruff-talking, cigar-chomping baby marionette, the cabaret features a pair of Abbott-and-Costello-style prosthetic legs. Surmounted by fake teeth, the legs tell bad jokes while a sexy dancer, made up of shapely legs, an antique clock, and a red boa, cancans the night away. The cabaret comes to a conclusion with a heavenly chanteuse, in the form of an angelic baby-doll marionette, who sweetly sings herself to sleep. With the help of Emmy, Johnny finds his way through the trash heap into his imagination and beyond, fulfilling his dream to fly off and see the world.

Cross's imagination is nothing short of breathtaking. As writer, director, designer, puppeteer, and star, he displays a talent matched only by his boundless dedication to his craft. His inspiring vision culminates in a hypnotic 50-minute production that is often intriguing, always amusing, and genuinely wonderful.

The radiant Emmy Bean lights up the stage. Never saying more than a half-dozen words, she uses her body and facial expressions to create a fully realized character of affecting depth and humor. With her incandescent smile and sad eyes, Bean is a delightful foil to Cross's fumbling hero.

With this show, Cross has created a vivid reality out of a capricious fantasy. Talking babies, dancing clocks, and a dreamscape of poetic magic await the audience at every turn. Objeté will captivate both children and adults with its whimsical journey into the heart of dreams.

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