Shockheaded Peter

by Clinton Campbell

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday March 16, 2015

Alexandria King in "Shockheaded Peter"
Alexandria King in "Shockheaded Peter"  (Source:Company One/Paul Fox)

Those with a slightly twisted sensibility will certainly love Company One's "Shockheaded Peter" currently playing at Suffolk's Modern Theatre. While it's a bit hard to describe, think beloved childrens' author Shel Silverstein and add a heavy dose of Tim Burton.

"Shockheaded Peter" was originally developed from a 19th century German children's book by Heinrich Hoffman that is comprised of short morality tales designed to instruct children on proper behavior. In 1998, Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch from London's Improbable Theater collaborated with the punk/cabaret band The Tiger Lilies to bring these stories to the stage. The work first hit the states in 1999, but this production marks its New England premiere.

It also marks the first time that an existing band has taken on the show's accompaniment as a whole. That band led by Walter Sickert, Army of Broken Toys, has taken the original music composed by The Tiger Lilies and rearranged it to reflect their "SteamCRUNK" sound. The result is both fitting to the show and the production.

The show is driven by the wonderfully macabre performance of Alexandria King as the MC. She commands both the stage and your attention throughout. Her MC is combination of Willie Wonka and the Leader Player from "Pippin"... after a short stint in the asylum. It is incredibly entertaining and fun to watch.

Director Steven Bogart, with a uniformly outstanding design crew, has created a cohesive world for these characters. The remaining ensemble members are all equally talented and bring each story to life with an evil glee. You will happily fall down the rabbit hole they create, though you may feel a bit guilty for enjoying it so much.

Shockheaded Peter continues to April 4, 2015 at the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, 525 Washington Street, Boston, MA. For more information Company One website.