Bare Bones 2022: New location, familiar story, amazing visuals

Bone Bones is a longtime Halloween favorite event of outdoor puppet theater celebrating the story of Halloween as rebirth and a time when generations of creatures large and small mingle. The story is simple but important. It’s a reminder we (you, me, humankind) are not the center of the universe. The trees and the hills, the fish and birds were here before us and will remain (or reemerge) once we’re gone. It’s also an opportunity to remember specific people we have lost.

It’s a story that small children can follow. I know because I used to bring small children but also children around us were great for exclaiming things like – oh I get it. Or it’s a bear! That alone could make the night. They are a reminder that it’s best to sit back and enjoy the show. Take it in, let the message seep in but don’t overthink it. It’s a hopeful story, not a cautionary tale.

The show has moved from a cozy wooded area in St Paul to a bike trail near in a very urban part of Minneapolis. Some of the mysticism is lost but it’s sure easier to access and therefore more people should be able to enjoy it.

The puppetry and the music are wonderful. It is wholly community created. I love any of the creatures that light up. They seem to float or swim in the air. There was a giant cat or wolf set up on a nearby bridge. It felt like background until is began to move and actually caught a fish “swimming” below. The tongue moving in the cat’s mouth is the kind of detail that makes the show magical. The fire dancers are amazing. The passion is contagious.

The show was so amazing that I nearly forgot to mention that it was 60 degrees when the show started. Felt great even though ironically it helps make the point that we need to take better care of our Earth if we want it to sustain us.

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