The Gray Cat and the Flounder at Assembly George Square Studios is many things, but despite its flyer visuals and title, it is not a cartoon, or a work of children’s theatre. What it is, however, is the beautiful and touching story of Bernadette Gabrielle Callery (Gray Cat) and Joseph Newcomer (aka the Flounder).who each knew when they met that they were simply meant to be together, and that is exactly what happened as they were married for 46 years, until Bernadette died from ovarian cancer in 2012.
Although this is not a children’s story, it is a story of two people who never lost that childlike wonder and inquisitiveness of the world around them, and their life together was chronicled in a collection of almost 4,000 cartoon images. This is the story of a fairy tale come true for two, but like all the best stories it sadly had to come to an eventual end at some time, but despite that fact, this is actually an uplifting story, created by Kevin Noe (co-creator and artistic director of PNME) and Kieren MacMillan (composer), celebrating the wonderful world of endless joy and curiosity of everything around them that was their lives together.
The approach to telling this story is an unusual one too as each seat has its own set of headphones so that we, the audience, can experience every sound on stage in “binaural” 360 degree sound. For the non tech of us (myself included) this is the audio equivalent of 3D cinema.
Set to a live commentary, live music and screen visuals, we follow the story of The Gray Cat and the Flounder via their on-stage avatars - Lindsay Kesselman and Kevin Noe - as the two share their life with us in music, song and art. The narrator of the story is Jeffrey Nytch.
This is a carefully and tenderly produced, directed and performed work from The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (PNME) Theatre and through them the story of “The Gray Cat and the Flounder” is continuing, and I am sure that if you listen carefully, you will hear Gray Cat purring in appreciation somewhere out there.
The Gray Cat and the Flounder
Assembly George Square Studios
Jul 31 Aug 1-11, 13-18, 20-22
Country: United States
Group: PNME and Civil Disobedience
Review by Tom King