“Demon Dreams” at West of Lenin

Right now in the West of Lenin black box theatre that is such a welcome addition to Seattle’s performance spaces, demons and immortals meet sometime in the future in a broken down temple to argue with each other about the human race. Wicked or good? “Demon Dreams” asks us to assess the human presence on earth?

The horned demons, dressed like figures in Japanese wood block prints are male. The female immortals are visions in white, white from head to toe, white except for dramatic face makeup that accentuates every feature.

This is not conventional theatre. This is theatre that takes risks, blends genres. It fuses traditional Japanese story telling with a bit of hip-hop and a bit of percussion. It mixes humor with philosophical exploration.

The sound of raging winds ushers in clever morality tales of animals and humans. Each story exposes some human emotion or facet. Hatred, greed, lust, jealousy, forgiveness, friendship, virtue, sacrifice, compassion, love. They are all there, wonderfully explored by the skilled actors.

Written by Tommy Smith and directed by AJ Epstein (the impresario who has brought us West of Lenin), this is a thought provoking and satisfying exploration of the contradictions inherent in human life.

Through Nov. 10 at West of Lenin, 203 N. 36th St., Fremont, Seattle (206 352-1777 or www.westoflenin.com or www.BrownPaperTickets.com).

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