"We wanted to change the world, but with no words and no music."- Floriana Frassetto
If I were to say the word "mime," chances are you'd picture a white-faced fellow, probably in a top hat or a beret. Maybe he’s tying an invisible bow tie. Perhaps he’s trapped in an invisible box.
If I were to say the word "mask," chances are you'd picture something rubber or plastic. Maybe it covers just the eyes, maybe the whole face. It might be an ex-president or a monster.
In neither case are you likely to imagine Mummenschanz. This experimental mime troupe pushes the boundaries of the venerable art form by turning everyday items like boxes, wire, clay—even toilet paper—into tools for describing the human condition. They’ve been constructing their surreal, comic, wordless universe in spaces large and small all over the world for more than 40 years now.
Mummenschanz founding member Floriana Frassetto stopped by the Boston Public Radio studios to chat about why they don't use music, working with Jim Henson and how every single show is different. Frassetto and Mummenshcnaz are in town for a series of shows at the Citi Shubert Theatre, part of their 40th anniversary tour.
Here's a taste of their particular brand of magic, from the first season of The Muppet Show: