Arias with a Twist


It wasn’t until the final curtain when four young puppeteers dressed entirely in black velvet took a bow alongside performer Joey Arias that I realized two things: The cast of thousands (or at least dozens) in Arias with a Twist was completely controlled by that secret cabal and director Basil Twist, and there had only been one human on the stage the entire night. New York performance artist Joey Arias, looking like Bettie Page and sounding like Yma Sumac, croons and swoons alongside glowing aliens and myriad tentacles while a deco marionette orchestra plays nearby. The show mixes vaudeville stage magic, flickering images and Billie Holiday-style cabaret numbers to coax you into a dreamy netherworld where Arias dances with demons, falls from space and succumbs to the glittering pleasures of a sparkling marionette jungle come to life. At REDCAT | Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater through Dec. 13