A mutation of the traditional Middle Eastern Karagoz shadow puppet play, MOTHER is about the consequences of being on the fringes of society…every society. Periodically the show is interrupted by cantastoria, or picture performance, employing Zaloom’s drawings in a true account of the U.S. Marines recent efforts to recruit him (Zaloom is 56 years old and gay, two unlikely qualifications for the Marines). It’s a comedy, needless to say.

The shadow show tells the twisted story of an Arab, secular humanist/Quaker/Buddhist/agnostic/political refugee/ immigrant/queer/artist/weirdo’s adventures while being pursued by various enemies: Syrian Secret Service, Israeli border guards, Al Qaeda, Homeland Security, the Statue of Liberty, Christian “ex gay” activists, and U.S. immigration vigilantes the Minutemen.
They all fail; he triumphs.

THE ABECEDARIUM with Lynn Jeffries

In this new work of jumbo toy theater, Zaloom packs a big wallop in not-so-small spectacle featuring veteran nightclub puppeteer Lynn Jeffries. On a mini proscenium puppet stage, utilizing paper and cardboard puppets, Jeffries and Zaloom satirize the Caramel Pecan Cinnebon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, drug product placement in doctors’ offices, ocean dumping, creationism, people who wear sexy cat outfits for Halloween, and more.

The purpose of the show is to create an uproariously funny, visually stunning, politically satirical spectacle that will generate unbridled mirth and awe about the things that are killing us all.


HOW TO BE WICKED: A Self-Help Seminar

Paul Zaloom will produce a brand new epic extravaganza for the 2010-11 season that blends a variety of performance techniques in a mock self-help seminar to train audiences to become truly wicked.

In his trademark low tech style, Zaloom will expound on the myriad opportunities to be bad to the bone and the various venues where wickedness is found, from politics to advertising to interpersonal relationships. He will use a number of simple media, such as cantastoria (a.k.a. storytelling with pictures), puppets (including toy theater and a ventriloquist dummy), and large-scale projections in a do-it-yourself instructional on the dos and don’ts of being relentlessly wicked and evil.

Audiences will learn how to be really awful while laughing their asses off.

STORM DRAIN TO PARADISE with Lynn Jeffries and the Ditty Bops

Adventurous, genre-defying musical duo the Ditty Bops bring their iridescent harmonies and visionary worldview together with inventive and infectiously irreverent shadow puppetry in a new full-length puppet and music spectacle, Storm Drain to Paradise.

Through a blend of concert and theater, they recount the journey of Little Maroo, a girl who falls down the storm drain into a world of garbage islands, talking animals, and flying plastic boats. Practical, proactive Maroo sets out to collect all the earth's endangered creatures, and, like a modern day Noah, transport them to a better place…if she can find one.

The Ditty Bops have been featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brian, The Late Late Show with Craig Fergusson, The L Word, Extra, NPR’s All Things Considered, and A Prairie Home Companion, and have toured with a variety of performers from Tori Amos to Nancy Sinatra. Their music has appeared on ABC’s Gray’s Anatomy, Men in Trees, Ellen and in numerous films and commercials.

“These vaudevillian vamps are putting the show back in showmanship.” Interview Magazine

“…brightly inventive shadow puppets by Lynn Jeffries” San Francisco Guardian