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‘Paper Hat’ tops the week

Lois Weisberg created Chicago's SummerDance.

Lois Weisberg created Chicago's SummerDance.

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Updated: September 5, 2013 2:27PM

Watch the enchanting video by visiting, and I doubt you’ll need further words before making plans to see “The Paper Hat Game,” which will spin its story of the notorious prankster of the title using toy theater techniques and projection.

The hero of this visual kaleidoscope plays a simple game: He hands out paper hats on the train in an effort to bring a bit of childlike joy to daily commuters. But despite his daily attempt to brighten the city, the city isn’t always willing to reciprocate. Torry Bend transforms this story into a constantly shifting landscape of city life using live puppetry, intricate models, photo-motion video by Raquel Salvatella de Prada and a collage of shifting scenery, all layered into a performance space only slightly larger than an oven.

“The Paper Hat Game” runs Sept. 6-22 at The Den Theatre, 1333 W. Division. Tickets:


It’s not too late. You can still fill your dance card with many evenings of live music and dance lessons on these dates: Sept. 5 (samba, axé, samba-reggae, dança toada); Sept. 6 (mambo); Sept. 7 (Chicago steppin’); Sept. 8 (ballroom bolero); Sept. 12 (traditional dances of West African diaspora); Sept. 13 (Afro-Puerto Rican plena & bomba); Sept. 14 (traditional and contemporary son Mexicano); Sept. 15 (bachata). Visit

—Hedy Weiss, Theater Critic

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