Who knew that toilet paper could unwind and become almost human? Or that foam rubber could be fun? Or that writing pads could take on personalities? Masks abound. Props materialize from shadows. This is Mummenschanz, a 44 year old Swiss mime company calling itself “The Musicians of Silence.” Right. Quiet. Except for all the laughter from families, children, adults witnessing one evening of such magic at the Orpheum Theater.  

Silence indeed. No music. No sound effects. An oddity in this world of cell-phones, headsets, iTunes etc. Beep. Beep. Nope. Nope.

There are strange animal forms, illuminated faces, giant Slinkys, hugh hands, transformable masks. And more. And more. This crosses all kinds of boundaries, national, natural.  https://www.mummenschanz.com/

The show ran on Broadway for three years. And returned in 2012, about which the New York Times reviewer observed “My inner kid seldom stopped grinning….its longevity is well earned, and in an age of ceaseless special effects, its low-tech feel is unexpectedly energizing.”

Not much more need be said. No further speech required. After all, the performers use no words. Their supple, subtle, adaptable, expressive bodies say it all. You and other people watching are bound to express audible pleasure. Laughing. Clapping. Cheering.  

Mummenschanz appears once only Feb. 27 at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16 St. 7 p.m. Tickets: $15-$30. https://www.omahaperformingarts.org/on-stage/family

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