NiteTalk: The Magical Mysterious Marionettes of Pablo Cano

Anyone looking for a(nother) damn good reason why Miami is known as the Magic City need look no further than the wowful, wondrous and whimsical work of Pablo Cano. The marionetteer, whose creations are to found objects what fossils are to dinosaur hunters, has been blessing our town with his patented brand of magical mystery for decades. Now though he's added his own Red Velvet Theater to the long list of great places where he and his otherworldly wonders can be appreciated.

For the two people who don't yet know, who is Pablo Cano and what exactly does he do?
I think I finally got a handle on who Pablo Cano is. A work in progress for sure. I know I am an artist and observer of people.  Marionettes, theater, opera, music, poetry, painting and sculpture seem to go hand in hand with all I am passionate about.

You've been doin' a lotta that at MOCA, haven't you? Yes, Bonnie Clearwater the Director and Chief Curator at MOCA, North Miami, has commissioned my productions since 1998. Currently, I am working on our 13th marionette production "The Toy Box" by Claude Debussy. New York concert pianist Karen Schwartz will be playing live for the performance, which will run from October 1st through Nov 17th, 2012.

Where else in town might marionette fans find you? The Young At Art Museum in Davie just opened The Pablo Cano Magical Marionette Gallery and Workshop. This is the best place to get really acquainted with my work and techniques. Clifton Childree produced the documentary and animated films of my marionettes are on permanent view there. The Sagamore Hotel in Miami Beach also has two of the largest puppet sculptures I ever created on view in the lobby, which are part of the private art collection of Martin and Cricket Taplin. The Rubell Family Collection also purchased 12 years of my art work and is permanently part of their amazing art collection in Miami.

You've also recently opened your own, more adult-oriented, space -- wanna tell us a bit about it? The Red Velvet Theater is my dream come true. I always wanted to have a theater space that I could experiment in and invite other performance artists to collaborate with me or perform their solo shows. Katherin Kramer and Joanne Barrett debuted at my theater April 7th with The Kitch - in Sax Blues.

What's currently playing at Red Velvet (and how do folks get to catch the show)? Currently I am performing my solo marionette production Pablo Cano's Musical Marionettes at the Red Velvet Theater. Folks can email me and become a Friend of the Red Velvet Theater and receive news updates about show times and performances.

Aren't you also working on something based on De Sade?
Yes, I am also working on a new adult marionette production about the Castle of the Marquis de Sade featuring all the different erotic rooms inside it. Every room is a different theme and the audience is invited to take a tour of the chateaux with the rascally Marquis. The production is planned for 2013 around the end of October in time for Halloween.

How'd you come to choose the rascally Marquis as a subject?
I have always been intrigued by the Marquis de Sade after seeing the movie Sade. I thought the Marquis was very suitable for an erotic marionette master of ceremony for my subject.

Anything else we need to know about Pablo Cano before you go-go? When Cuba is finally liberated and free, I want to visit Havana where I was born and collect  debris suitable for making my marionettes and create a magnificent production narrated by my Jose Marti marionette. The production would tell the story of my people...... another work in progress.

Pablo Cano's Musical Marionettes at the Red Velvet Theater runs through the end of May (and maybe longer). For more information email Pablo here.

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