Lula del Ray Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 16 2012

Manual Cinema's 2011 shadow-puppet show Ada/Ava concerned elderly twins who live together, tending a lighthouse on the proverbial lonely promontory. After Ava's death, a carnival comes to the town below the promontory; Ada buys a ticket and finds herself in a surreal fun house that's anything but fun. Lula del Ray is structurally identical to Ada/Ava, but instead of lighthouse-keeping twins, it offers adolescent Lula and her mother, sharing a trailer at the edge of a radio-astronomy array not unlike the one over which Jodie Foster presides in the 1997 movie Contact. And though Lula doesn't visit a carnival, she does develop an obsession with a country-western duo that sends her into a surreal odyssey. The piece becomes confounding at the end, as symbolism overwhelms the storytelling. Still, Manual Cinema's combination of roughness and delicacy, simplicity and sophistication makes for an oddly compelling 90 minutes. The score, by various hands, is as evocative as they come. —Tony Adler

Price: $10-$20

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