By Wendy Rosenfield
for the Inquirer
The concept behind Y2D Productions’ LEO is, like most great ideas, deceptively simple. On one side of the stage, there’s a screen: vertical, rectangular. Beside it, there’s a room: ceiling, floor, two walls, lightbulb, horizontal, rectangular. Inside the room, performer William Bonnet sprawls on the floor, feet pressed up against a red wall. That room and everything he does in it appears onscreen, but tilted 45 degrees. That’s all.
But what a difference 45 degrees makes. LEO gleefully defies the laws of gravity. As Bonnet climbs the walls, his bowler hat and tie refuse to behave as they ought, flying upward when they should fall. His gravity-bound movements mimic precisely the angles and postures of upright behavior--a tilted head, strutting gait, and while it’s a delight to scan both Bonnets, toggling between his magic and the secrets of that magic revealed, the show’s creator, Tobias Wegner, and director, Daniel Briere, know this one trick will grow thin long before their hour’s up. Once a bit--a singing briefcase, a chalk-drawn living room--has been explored, they wisely shift the production’s theme another 45 degrees by adding animation, or switching music and mood from Tchaikovsky to techno.