Under the Jaguar Moon

Part of being on the fringe - i.e., traveling the fringe-festival circuit - is surrendering to chance. With every venue, in every town, the vibe is different and the audience’s level of acceptance a roll of the dice. What’s lauded in New York might get a blank stare in Oklahoma City. Huilo Marvavilla, the queer and mystical leader of San Francisco’s Teatro Jaguar Luna (he’s sometimes its only performer, too), has never been on the stage in Boulder before, but he’s looking forward to performing his latest show, Through the Worm Hole, there this week. It’s a gamble, sure, but a Naropa-infused college town that boasts its own circus school can’t be too bad.

“I’m truly a fringe artist,” explains Marvavilla, whose oeuvre involves ritualistic puppetry and giant, jewel-toned masks played out against a hallucinatory backdrop of homemade video and experimental music. “If people come to see me expecting Bread and Puppet Theater, forget it. I do my own thing.” Through the Wormhole, loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland (were she to find herself free-falling through outer space into the dark heart of a Mayan prophecy) and ending in an inexplicable 2012 denouement, is one part back-road carnival show, one part interactive and one part pure Huilo: Gay, formerly employed in the advertising biz, funny and weird, he was once a sculptor whose performances began as an offshoot of his art exhibits.

Teatro Jaguar Luna opens a five-night Boulder Fringe Festival run tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the cozy confines of Trident Booksellers, 940 Pearl Street, a time-honored locale for the Boulder underground, where the dreamy action is guaranteed to be right in your face. Admission is free (or by donation) tonight only, in keeping with Marvavilla’s wish to make art more accessible; tickets are $8 for the remaining shows, which continue at the Trident through August 22. To reserve a seat or for more information, go to www.boulderfringe.com.
Fri., Aug. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 15, 9 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 20, 8:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 21, 7 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 22, 8:30 p.m., 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd