Friday, January 27, 2023

REVIEW: Macunaíma Gourmet Pigmalião Escultura que Mexe (Brazil)

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Macunaíma Gourmet 

By Pigmalião Escultura que Mexe (Brazil)

Suggested for 14 and up. Puppet and human nudity and mature themes. 


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

It was an eye opening adventure to catch the opening performance of Macunaíma Gourmet by Pigmalião Escultura que Mexe from Brazil. Before last night, if someone mentioned Brazil to me, it conjured images of all you can eat steak houses with an endless parade of skewers of meat, and gluttonous diners overeating. After last night, I'm considering becoming vegan! 

Macunaíma Gourmet is an intense and scathing piece of political theater from Brazil. The troupe bravely bared their bodies and souls in this excellently executed nightmare of a piece. This compelling and thought provoking hellscape includes cannibalizing the indigenous, force feeding, forced breeding, decapitation, and more. This reinterpretation of the classic Brazilian novel brings puppetry and object theater to life, tackling modern political issues. This is the cast's first visit to the USA, and I'm happy they've brought their impressive talent and dystopian vision to Chicago. Bundle up Brazilians!

FREE to all CPS students! 
If you're considering bringing your CPS student, please make sure they're emotionally mature enough to handle complex, controversial content. This show is suggested for ages 14 and up. 'Macunaíma Gourmet' does feature puppet and human nudity and mature themes. This play tackles political aspects through puppetry, object theatre, and performance. Chicago Public School students are invited to view this piece of activism free of charge as space allows. 

Get ready for an electrifying experience with 'Macunaíma Gourmet' by Mário de Andrade! This is a must-see performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art (@mcachicago) on Jan 26, 27, and 28 at 7:30pm. This reinterpretation of the classic Brazilian novel brings puppetry and object theater to life, tackling modern political issues. 

Much of Macunaíma Gourmet was intense and uncomfortable to watch, but powerful puppetry and strong social commentary with world wide relevance. This production is not a good fit for young or sensitive viewers of any age. For others, Macunaíma Gourmet is recommended. 

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, artist, and Mama to 2 amazing adults. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly).

Macunaíma Gourmet
Pigmalião Escultura que Mexe (Brazil)
U.S. premiere presented by the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival
MCA Chicago, 205 E. Pearson St., Chicago
January 26-28
Three performances: Thursday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $45/$35 students and seniors
14 and up
ADA accessible
Performed with English subtitles
80 minutes

Met by standing ovations at its 2019 premiere, this reinterpretation of the popular Brazilian novel “Macunaíma” by Mário de Andrade is full of spectacle, outrageousness and political perspective that demanded expression through puppetry and object. This adaptation, Macunaíma Gourmet, transports the modernist novel to the present day. In its new guise, the piece discusses the storm that Brazilian and global society faces in its socioeconomic and cultural structures with distinctive raucous imagery, unforgettable Brazilian style, and the urgency with which puppets can make political points.

Pigmalião Escultura que Mexe (Brazil) creates, produces, and presents puppet theater. The group’s work starts from the research on construction and manipulation of traditional techniques, developing those techniques and then transposing them to the contemporaneous scene. Working over different styles, Pigmalião investigates the possibilities to give movement to sculptures.


Visit for tickets and information about the 5th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, and sign up for the festival’s e-news.

Follow the festival on FacebookInstagramVimeo or Twitter, hashtag #ChiPuppetFest. 

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