Bill Raden Director Jaime Robledo
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Inside East Hollywood's Sacred Fools Theatre on a recent Sunday afternoon, actor Donal Thoms-Capello is capering through a bizarre step of percussive, deliberate foot stomps, which alternate with clanking sound effects.
"No," a voice from the gloom interrupts, "there are three clanks." A shadow makes its way to the stage where, under the lights, it takes on the lanky features of writer-director Jaime Robledo, who sidles up to Thoms-Capello and a stagehand pantomiming a Coney Island carousel to demonstrate: "So the first one should be bang [stomp], bang [stomp], and you can both laugh." Thoms-Capello and Robledo both let out a laugh in time with the final stomp.
The step being rehearsed is part of a runaway-carousel scene, ripped from Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, for Robledo's new show, Watson and the Dark Art of Harry Houdini, beginning June 21. It is the kind of big, Broadway-grade spectacle on a small-stage budget that has given Robledo a reputation as the poor man's Julie Taymor -- the director who can stage the impossible.More »