Thursday January 31, 2013

PUTNEY -- Puppeteer Brad Shur visits from Boston to present "The Magic Soup and Other Stories" at Sandglass Theater on Saturday, with performances at 2 and 4 p.m. This is the second performance in the 2013 Winter Sunshine Series of Family Performances at Sandglass.

Uncle Murray is coming over for dinner, but there’s no food in sight. A young man’s search for a family recipe brings folk tales to life in the fast-food-filled kitchen of his bachelor pad. Based on a collection of traditional Yiddish stories, "The Magic Soup" teaches that it is those with wit, humor and imagination who have the best chance of filling their bellies -- and fulfilling their dreams.

In putting together this show, Shur looked for stories that he felt a real connection to. "I chose Jewish folk tales from eastern Europe because these are the stories my grandparents were raised on. I think they have a unique texture to them that’s very strange and very familiar at the same time."

Shur says that we can transcend our troubles by embracing a creative worldview. "The people living in shtetls who created these stories often had a very hard life and these stories were part of the mythology that helped them to persevere."

Winter Sunshine co-producers Jamie Keithline and Bonny Hall saw the show in Boston last year and knew they wanted it for Winter Sunshine.

"Brad does a terrific job of presenting these traditional tales in a modern context," Keithline says. "The puppets are beautiful, the staging is quite ingenious and the stories are warm, touching and very, very funny."

The 2013 Winter Sunshine Series of Family Performances continues on Feb. 23 with Nappy’s Puppets, March 16 with Magical Moonshine Theater (all the way from California) and ends on April 6 with Ines Zeller Bass of Sandglass Theater.

All tickets are $8. Reservations are recommended; call the Sandglass box office at 802-387-4051.