We’re not even a week into the year and we’ve already been doused in highly artistic endeavors from the music scene.

The Replay was packed good and early Friday evening as fans eagerly awaited a puppet show of an unusual nature. The Middle Tell is a performance piece via puppeteer and artist Johanna Winters. Two towering screens lurked over a full audience at the small Downtown venue. Behind those screens, puppeteers (including paper artist extraordinaire Alicia Kelly), dangled paper silhouettes over projectors, making them move and hesitate in a distressing manner. Through the shadow puppets, we learned about three women giving into their deteriorating conditions through a series of startling and provoking storytelling. The unsettling vibe was enhanced by the live orchestration, provided by Jeff Stolz (of Drakkar Sauna) on his organ.

Here’s a snippet of what it looked like.


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We intentionally didn’t photograph the puppeteers so that the mystery can remain alive and well. Stolz also opened the show, while harpist Calvin Arsenia rounded out the night (because he seems to just manifest wherever there’s an avant-garde presence in the music scene).