Created by Heidi Arneson (writer/performer) and Tony Hauser (musician), with his classical guitar arrangements of Isaac Albéniz
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CHILDHOOD IN THE EYE OF THE TORNADO. Music and story overlay in a translucent reveal: Secrets of a hidden childhood. Fish-heads are nailed to the trees. A killer lurks under the muck. The lips of one girl must never touch the lips of another. But our heroine falls dangerously in love with the new girl and is cast into a maelstrom of wishes-come-true. Storyteller Heidi Arneson brings her "beautifully vivid" prose (author Jenna Zark). Classical guitarist Tony Hauser "plays with feeling and technical prowess" (Michael Anthony, Star Tribune). A midcentury summer on a midwestern lake embellished with the compositions of Spanish prodigy Isaac Albeniz.
Seen through the eyes of a kid-size strike-anywhere match, the world is full of mystery. Monsters wait around every corner. The secrets of reproduction are in unending lockboxes. The keys are hidden in every crack in the neighborhood. But beware! When you're the baby of ten in a house full of life, you better learn fast how to disappear, for death waits behind every wall, under the murky waters, and in that kitchen oven.
Arneson's opus on childhood blends gems from her acclaimed novel, Interlocking Monsters, with vignettes of her soon-to-be-released prequel, The Chalk Canoe "A magic garden of uncanniness" (journalist Jon Spayde). The union of music with text gives depth to this vision of youth through a cracked prism. Here is a land lost, where kids run naked and swim free. Siblings shoot arrows into siblings. Fathers burst with hot lava. Mothers dispense underhand wisdom. And myths of good and evil, sex and suppertime, and love and death multiply unseen in moist lakeside basements like mildew on hidden Playboy magazines.
Here are flowers waiting to be pried open. Here are oversize snapping turtles. Here is the ever-gardening neighbor with a clothesline full of square-dance petticoats. And here the moon dances, a white snake on black water. You sit in the dark grass hugging your knees. Your tongue stained with popsicle, your skin covered in mosquito bites, the air full of popping bratwurst: How much trouble you can make before winter falls?
Powerhouses Arneson and Hauser invoke the sweetness and terror of a lost childhood, fueld by the fire of Albeniz. A rare hybrid: riveting story, exquisite music, and poignant comedy. Childhood's unselfconscious rebelliousness in translucent layers, like shimmering mermaid-tails, of symbolism, celebration, and reverence.
This is the world premiere of ITCHY TINGLES.