On Friday, February 14, a very different kind of Valentine’s Day will be celebrated at Brookline’s Puppet Showplace Theater. “Love and Other Nonsense,” a show produced by Kristin Wagner of Lady BOS Productions, throws overstuffed romance to the wind and celebrates love of all kinds in this interdisciplinary art show.
“I hope it’s a fun, low key way to spend Valentine’s Day,” says Wagner. “I wanted there to be a space for people who weren’t going out to some fancy dinner, people who can go out with their friends or their boyfriend or their mom, and do something fun.” This Valentine’s Day alternative is being produced with partial funding from the Brookline Commission for the Arts and with partial sponsorship from the Puppet Showplace Theater.
For the past year, Wagner has focused on producing shows that highlight a wide array of arts disciplines. As a dancer, she found that there was not often space for her medium in coffee showcases or traditional arts roundups. So she decided to make space. “Love and Other Nonsense” is a perfect example of this artistic assemblage. The lineup includes comedian Kendra Dawsey, dance pieces by Olivia Blaisdell, I.J. Chan, Peter DiMuro, Tony Guglietti, and Kristin Wagner and Audrey MacLean, opera by Due Donne Productions and, of course, puppetry by The Gottabees and Honey Goodenough.
Each act will approach love differently. The piece Wagner will perform in, choreographed by Peter DiMuro, explores familial love, following the story of a straight father and gay son trying to find common ground. The opera piece by Due Donne Productions will reflect on age-old love stories with selections from Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte.”
The diverse group of artists serves not only to provide a full spectrum show to the audience but also to make different art forms accessible. In “Love and Other Nonsense” puppetry, often relegated to children’s theater, is showcased as a legitimate and avant-garde art form. At the same time, opera, long known as a high art form, is brought to the community level. “Opera is often fairly inaccessible to the masses because of a high ticket price and a very select venue that not everyone feels comfortable attending, and not everyone has the means to attend,” says Wagner. “I don’t think there are very many opportunities to see so much at once and in a very condensed, distilled way, where it’s all really good, and it’s all really different.”
Tickets to the show, for purchase on Eventbrite, cost $20 for general audience members, $16 for students, seniors, and other artists. The show will allow audiences to celebrate love of all kinds, including the love of art. Wagner says, “It can just be a low key fun event where you eat some chocolate, see some dance, hear some opera and move on with your life.”