ROBIN’S SHOW REVIEW: Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo
Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo is an experiential theater production that takes audiences on a prehistoric journey in which you meet a menagerie of insects, mammals and dinosaurs that once roamed the planet. Brought to life by sophisticated design and masterful puppetry, this production connects families to paleontology in an informative and unique setting.
The production is set in the Australian outback where a rugged ranger and trusty dino keepers introduce the audience to a menagerie of Mesozoic monsters from around the world. Featuring original, large-scale creations manually operated by skilled puppeteers, every frightful fiend and huggable hatchling responds instantly to the audience for an intimate and authentic encounter.
Housed in Sydney’s contemporary arts center, CarriageWorks, Erth is recognized for its mix of installation and performance-based projects that are as informative as they are innovative, and interactive…..and audience members have the opportunity after the show to pet these prehistoric marvels and meet them up close.
Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo is hosted by Scott Wright and features puppetry by Miron Gusso, Sam Hayes, Samantha Hickey, Rawiri Jobe, Sharon Kerr and Noel MacNeal.
My son (age 9) enjoyed the show…though he opted not to meet the dinosaurs after the production. Members from the audience, both adults and kids, were selected to participate, and their interaction with the creatures was entertaining….and impressive — when a young boy allowed his head to be placed inside the mouth of a large, toothy carnivore.
There is no storyline, but if your child is a fan of dinosaurs, they will get a kick out of this production.
The show is 50 minutes with no intermission, and is recommended for ages 6 and older. It is playing at The New Victory Theatre, 209 West 42 Street in NYC.
Founded in 1990 in Ballarat, Victoria, Erth is recognized as an innovator of physical and visual theater both in Australia and throughout the world. Erth combines installation and
performance involving a menagerie of large-scale puppets, stilts, inflatables and aerial techniques, and often creates site-specific work; past productions include Incubator; Gargoyles; Waterheads; Caution; Bushfire; The Garden; Gondwana; The Nargun and the Stars; and most recently I,Bunyip; Spirit Creatures and Taniwha Acts I, II and III. Erth tours the globe extensively, performing at many major Australian and international festivals: Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (2000); Hong Kong Fringe; Galway Arts Festival (Ireland); Stockton International Riverside Festival (UK); Singapore Arts Festival; and the Festival of Arts & Ideas in Connecticut. Most recent Erth works have been seen at Shanghai World Expo (2010); Sydney Children’s Festival (2009-2011); City of Sydney Chinese New Year Parades (2009-2011); Ten Days on the Island tour (2011); Hampyeong Butterfly Festival, Korea (2011); and Melbourne’s renowned Moomba Festival (2009-2011).
Increasingly, Erth is bridging the gap between cultural and theatrical institutions by bringing physical theater and puppetry to museum environments. Successful roving and aerial performances have been individually written and produced for The Australian Museum, Museum of Victoria (Melbourne), Old Parliament House, National Museum of Australia (Canberra), Auckland Museum (New Zealand), The Field Museum (Chicago), Natural History Museum (Los Angeles) and the Minnesota Science Museum. Upcoming shows are scheduled for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
Erth’s design studio and workshop have also developed custom creations for The Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival and Sydney Olympic Games, among others. The company has a busy design and construction program incorporating the use of many non-traditional set, prop, costume, inflatable and puppetry disciplines. In recent years, Erth has been embracing new technologies to introduce computer-generated imagery and registered projection into its ever-growing mix of art forms.