A Puppet Operetta
Love's Fowl Production History
Music by Henry Krieger
Libretto and Puppets by Susan J. Vitucci
Love’s Fowlis a miniature grand opera about the life and adventures (mostly amorous) of La Pulcina Piccola (Chicken Little), a larger-than-life bird. The story begins with the familiar "sky-is-falling incident," when an acorn falls on her head and she leads her barnyard friends to tell the king of the impending disaster. It goes on to explore her eventful life including forays into politics and the theatre (where she triumphs as Richard III), and--always, always--romance. A grandly life-embracing and life-affirming character, La Pulcina Piccola's approach to life is: enjoy today, for the sky may fall tomorrow.
Love’s Fowl tweaks the conventions of Italian opera – and everything we thought we knew about Chicken Little – in grand style. Written and performed by Susan J. Vitucci with music by two-time Tony Award nominee (Dreamgirls and Side Show) and Grammy Award winner Henry Krieger, Love’s Fowl features the Italian puppet troupe, Il Teatro Repertorio delle Mollette (the Clothespin Repertory Theatre). Like opera, Love’s Fowl is sung in Italian while the text is projected as supertitles on a screen above the actors' heads. And, like rock and roll, live video of the styrofoam-and-clothespin puppet actors – who take the roles of Chicken Little, Ducky Lucky, Turkey Lurkey, and dozens of other characters – is projected onto large screens on either side of the stage. In the midst of it all, the human performers' serious demeanor heightens the hilarity.
LOVE'S FOWL has broad audience appeal. Its sophisticated wit and warm-hearted, but never cloying, humor, appeals to adults and college audiences, and it is charming and appropriate for family audiences. And they like it enough to tell their friends: once audiences meet La Pulcina Piccola, many return again and again to introduce her to friends and family. With great word-of-mouth Love’s Fowl has strong repeat business.
Love’s Fowl was presented at New York Theatre Workshop in 1998 to critical acclaim from the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Time Out New York, among others. And has toured to Spoleto Festival USA, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (Oregon), and Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center, among other venues.
From a feature that has aired a number of times on the popular radio show This American Life, Love’s Fowl and its puppet star, La Pulcina Piccola, have developed a devoted cult following of adults throughout the country. The fan base remains loyal even without a regular performance outlet. Instead, they listen to the CD (available on Original Cast Records), read La Pulcina's semi-annual fan club newsletter, Clotheslines, which is distributed by mail and on La Pulcina's website and yearn for the day when they can see their favorite puppet star on stage.