Grab this vine

I overheard a little girl in line at Trader joe's the other day ask her mother how to swing from a vine. It was a great question. It gets answered (or rather, how does one swing from a curtain) in "Aurelia's Oratorio" playing at the Freud through the weekend. Read Sean Mitchell's review for all the fascinating deets about this wonderful performer and her extraordinary background.

I took my kids (ages 9 and 12) and was surprised how few children were in the audience. Though not in any way a "kiddie show," this piece is so strange and beautiful, magical and creepy it's perfect for them. It's a child's dream, verging on nightmare. A little scary, but not too scary, full of sight gags and laughs, yet very sophisticated. The show is a long series of "what ifs?" that get answered in startling, visual terms. My girls said it was the best thing they'd ever seen, and they've seen a lot.

Before we went in, we were milling about the Freud courtyard and struck up a conversation with a charming, older, metrosexual who had recently met Aurelia through a friend. She told him one of her earliest memories was of running around onstage in a suitcase that had two leg holes cut through the bottom. Her whole life sounded like a dream to us.

We got tickets just by showing up before the show, but that was before the big review. It ends with two shows on Saturday. It runs an hour and fifteen minutes, so don't worry, you can have the kids home and in bed by ten.

More by Erika Schickel:
Recently on Native Intelligence
New at LA Observed