Picking up where The Glassblock left off last year and as part of a Recital sponsored partnership with the New Hazlett Theater, Recital is presenting a series of editorially-independent previews and reviews of the 2017–2018 Community Supported Art (CSA) Performance Series. Below is their review of Büer’s Kiss by Carl Antonowicz, a collaborative response from Recital editor David Bernabo, season review panelist Jason Baldinger, and guest panelist Maggie Lynn Negrete.
By David Bernabo
Translating the drawn comic from the page to the stage is not an easy task, but cartoonist Carl Antonowicz alongside performers Joanna Becker and Ryan Haggerty admirably rise to the occasion with Büer’s Kiss, an intriguing, often humorous and more often horrifying tale of othering.
Set in a mythical world partly based on the medieval Kingdom of Aragon, the protagonist Felecia, one of a few characters voiced by Becker, is in the midst of being buried alive. Her crime is contracting a leprosy-like disease, referred to as Büer’s Kiss — the “kiss” of the demon Büer, referenced in texts like the Lesser Key of Solomon and Dictionnaire Infernal. Luckily for her sake (and for the sake of the story), she crawls out of the grave and, instead of death, is forced into exile, leaving behind a husband and a home. After walking through the woods, Felecia finds a sympathetic community in a makeshift town of people also afflicted by the disease. Once in the town, Felecia meets characters that act as vessels for belief structures, shrugs off the unwanted attention of an entitled man, and attempts to stop a disastrous plot.