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Twin sisters Ada and Ava have grown old together playing chess, having tea, riding their two-seater bicycle, and using the rock-paper-scissors method to decide which of them will tend the beam at the top of the lighthouse tower adjoining their snug home. Ava's death sends Ada into a tailspin. We watch her quiet but frantic negotiations with loneliness, sanity, and death in Ada/Ava, a shadow-puppet play by Manual Cinema. The piece mixes extraordinary technical sophistication—a rich quadraphonic sound design, cinematic transitions—with assertively naive children's-gothic-style storytelling. The combination can get clunky at times, but the overall effect is gentle, lovely, fascinating.
Ada/Ava can be seen one last time tonight at the Charnel House, 3421 W. Fullerton. The evening starts at 8 PM, with performances by That Sordid Little Story (a musical subset of the New Colony theater company) and puppeteer Mike Oleon.