Mummenschanz Review

Molly Apple, Features and Online Editor

After a quick plane ride to Chi-Town, and a cold windy walk to the Harris Theater just a block from Millennium Park, I took the elevator down into the depths of the building where the performances took place. I was unsure of the legitimacy of the performance I was about to see. My mom had told me it was a mix between “giant puppetry” and “silly visual movements” but it wasn’t until we took our seats that she released new information; it was silent. I was slightly intrigued as the lights went down but I was mostly just extremely sceptic it was going to be a disaster. Before our flight, I had researched a little about what Mummenshanz was an extremely uninformative Wiki page saying things like, “The name Mummenschanz is German for “mummery,” or a play involving mummers. Mummer is an Early Modern English term for a mime artisti,” which while interesting, was completely useless as for what to expect. The curtains opened and, no joke, giant hands emerged. I knew there were people inside the giant – almost mascot-like – hands but their fluid movements and visual effect completely awed the audience. There was laughter, audience involvement, and romance; everything you could ask for in an amazing performance. The swiss mask theater troupe who perform in a surreal mask- and prop-oriented style was founded in 1972 by Bernie Schürch, Andres Bossard, and Floriana Frassetto. The group only comes to America around every 15 years and each show promptly sold out. The experience taught me the joy of attending something you’re sceptic about only to be happily surprised.

Check it out on youtube if you want to be pleasantly surprised as well!