What if I told you there was a place where the stress of everyday life didn’t exist? Where technology wasn’t so prevalent, and people could take time for themselves to just daydream?
That place is called Bubblelandia, an underwater world of dance, acrobatics, hand balancing, juggling and, of course, bubbles.
“B - Underwater Bubble Show” will bring the magic of Bubblelandia to the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on Friday.
“B” is the creation of Italian bubble artist Enrico Pezzoli and his wife, Latvian bubble and sand artist Dace Pecolli.
In 2009, after 20 years as a performer, Pezzoli decided to combine his experience with magic, special effects and soap bubbles to create his own show.
He selected a team of costume designers, composers, video artists, stage prop masters and stage artists and began working on what would become “B.”
The show centers around a man called Mr. B. He is unhappy with his busy city life, but after finding a fishbowl in his briefcase, he begins to dream and is swept away to the fantastical Bubblelandia.
Pezzoli thinks many people can relate to Mr. B’s story and to the idea that technology has led to a lack of human interaction, with others and with ourselves.
“We forget to stop ourselves sometimes even for a short moment to enjoy simple things around us, to enjoy the gift that we have so many senses to enjoy our everyday life,” he said in an email interview. “These are all our choices how we decide to live our life, like a busy Mr. B or wake up and live colorful in the world created by our dreams, choices and actions. In our show, this place is called Bubblelandia. It it is not somewhere outside, it is right inside of each of us. It is our inner immerse beautiful world of being.”
Mr. B is played by professional mime Peteris Rimss, who also has experience as a dramatic theater actor.
“His language is his body movements coming from his heart,” Pezzoli said. “As Peteris is always saying, ‘You can lie with words but with body – never.’ ”
Pezzoli, who acts as a sea dragon in the show, and the other performers interact with Mr. B to show him how beautiful the world is.
Pezzoli uses bubbles to illustrate this point.
“Have you noticed that whole rainbow can show her colorful magnificence even in a tiny and little soap bubble?” he said. “We do not need huge things to feel the beauty, we just need (to be) willing to see that.”
Pezzoli became interested in bubbles as a child after seeing a clown performing a bubble act on the street.
Even with 21 years of experience with bubbles, Pezzoli said he is still learning new things about them.
The most challenging part of his work is maintaining a sense of calm when working with the delicate bubbles. Learning the “magic potion” for the best bubble liquid is also important.
From there, it’s all about respecting the bubbles’ wishes.
“What conditions do they like and what they do not like,” Pezzoli said. “You need respect that for to make them feel good in all their splendor.”
Having performed “B” in 41 countries, Pezzoli said he has never met a single person who does not like bubbles.
He said there is evidence people blew bubbles in the 15th century, showing people have always been captivated by the magical properties of bubbles.
“Bubbles are disarming any obstacles and bringing a joyful spirit to everyone – to kids and adults,” he said. “Bubbles really are the great mystery and mastery of pure joy. They reflect on themselves the world colorful even in a gray day. This is one of the things that we humans should learn from them.”
“B - Underwater Bubble Show” is the first in the Fox Family Series, a trio of shows geared toward families.
The series also features a performance by the Peking Acrobats on Jan. 24 and the Rockin’ Road to Dublin on March 10.
“We are trying to expand the role of the theater, not only for symphony performances but for families as well as a multi-generation resource and destination for Spokane and beyond,” Jeff vom Saal, executive director of the Spokane Symphony and the Fox, said.
The idea for the Fox Family Series came last year, as the organization was thinking about what it did well, and what kinds of programs it wanted to expand.
That process inspired the folks at the Fox to take a chance on more inventive programming like Classics and Pops concerts with newer music, events like “Halloween at Hogwarts” and non-symphony-related events.
When selecting the shows for the Fox Family Series, the organization looked for well-rounded programs that appealed to both parents and children.
Vom Saal said each potential show, Spokane Symphony or otherwise, is met with a rigorous artistic planning process that often involves trying to top the previous season.
“We’re also really excited by the fact that we can not only showcase the tried and true, traditional, things like ‘The Nutcracker’ that have been around for a long time, but some new things as well, embrace technology and try to appeal to all the senses,” he said.
In the future, vom Saal hopes to add a more robust educational program at the Fox that features a variety of subject matter, everything from music, theater and dance to science and lectures on things like public policy.
He also hopes to expand programming the Fox offers even further, making the theater, which was restored in 2007, a choice destination for those visiting downtown.
“I want us to be seen, not just as an entertainment complex, but as an organization that provokes thinking and consideration of social issues, some deeper stuff in there too,” he said. “The point is we do the whole range of it whether you just want to come and hang out and see a rock show, or you want to come hear a real interesting speech by somebody. I like the fact that we can do the whole range of that stuff.”