The Flatiron Hex, a Dixon Place commission created and performed by James Godwin, lives up to its title as it keeps audiences engaged and guessing until the very end. Under the direction of Tom Burnett (who also serves as a co-writer and the sound designer), The Flatiron Hex presents an atmosphere that is bizarre at first glance but makes sense as the plot unfolds. Godwin lends his talent as an expert puppeteer to tell this tale, bringing several characters to life effortlessly, and not at all seeming silly or childish.
Telling the story through the main character, sorcerer Wylie Walker, Godwin is on a mission to protect the city from dangerous storms that are constantly looming overhead. Committed to his job at NYORG, and coming from a long line of dedicated workers, such as his father, Walker is determined, focused and driven to fight for justice. He sets out to finish the work his father started and unlock the hex that has been placed on the famed Flatiron building. His enthusiasm, humor and sarcasm make him the perfect candidate for the challenge.
Godwin’s talent in seamlessly operating the puppets is an impressive sight and the use of old-fashioned materials, such as a slide projector to represent a lab was a nice choice in this age of advanced technology. The classic “mad scientist” imagery is perfect for evoking historic New York. Some choices are definitely not for the squeamish and audiences should prepare themselves for certain sights and sounds that will definitely prompt a reaction.
Lighting design by Jay Ryan complements the eerie atmosphere and aids in the transition between scenes. It is ideal for a plotline that deals with fighting the elements. Burnett’s sound cues also heightened the thriller’s action sequences and nicely accompany the strong, yet modulated voice of Godwin and the colorful characters he portrays. In this case, there truly is something for everyone.
The Flatiron Hex (through May 30, 2015)
Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey Streets, in Manhattan
For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit http://www.dixonplace.org.
Running time: Approximately 90 minutes without an intermission