The Italian Caped Crusader Returns in the Center Original Avanti Da Vinci
June 7-25, 2023
ATLANTA (May 2023) – While Leonardo Da Vinci is renowned as a painter, engineer, and scientist, his lesser-known alter ego as a masked crusader is ready to take center stage once again. The Center for Puppetry Arts is delighted to announce the highly anticipated return of Avanti Da Vinci in its theatrical run beginning June 7 and continuing through the 25th. This captivating production, written and produced by Artistic Director, Jon Ludwig and the Center’s Resident Puppet Builder, Jason Hines, marks the revival of Avanti Da Vinci after a 17-year hiatus. What started as a fleeting thought during a puppetry workshop at the Center for Puppetry Arts between Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines eventually become this innovative Center classic for adult audiences:
“Back in 2003, Jason and I were working in the Puppet Shop when he made an off-handed comment that if Da Vinci’s inventions would have actually worked, they would basically make him Batman. I looked at him and said, ‘That’s a puppet show!’ That comment inspired us to develop the concept into what would eventually become Avanti Da Vinci.” – Jon Ludwig
Da Vinci, renowned for his extraordinary genius, adopts the guise of the “Renaissance Man” as he wields his remarkable inventions and emerges as a masked crusader, dedicated to upholding “truth, justice, and the Italian way”. This imaginative, comedic melodrama was inspired by secret notebooks kept by Da Vinci that were later published as the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. The show chronicles the deceitful plot of the corrupt Borgia family who seek to forge an alliance with the Medici family by coercing Mona Lisa, under the care of Lorenzo the Magnificent, into an unwanted marriage with the merciless Cesare Borgia. Enter Da Vinci, an unassuming artist by day, who transforms into a formidable, crime-fighting winged avenger by night. This ill-fated scheme seals the fate of one of the most nefarious and wicked families of the Italian Renaissance.
“Due to the large scale of the production, and with many of the set pieces also being manipulated by puppeteers, we had to have a cast of six talented puppeteers to make the performance possible.” – Jason Hines.
The talented cast includes Michael Haverty, Jason Hines, Jon Ludwig, Evan Phillips, Reay Maxwell, and Kristin Storla. Rod and marionettes puppet design by Jason Hines; set design by Bradford Clark; lighting design by Liz Lee; music composed by John Cerreta.
Using 56 puppets, 40-plus props, and set pieces, all puppeteered by the talented cast, Avanti Da Vinci’s intricate and detailed set design is another highlight of this performance. The performance also features original music by John Cerreta with songs and text lifted from Leonardo da Vinci’s writings. In this version, they are jazzed up with classic Three Stooges-eque gags and absurd humor that adult audiences are sure to enjoy.
“The production is a two-story spectacle due to the intricate set pieces and puppets working together. What makes this performance even more amazing is that the puppeteers are all operating 100 puppets, props, objects, and pieces of scenery at the same time” – Jon Ludwig.
Avanti Da Vinci will be presented in the Vince Anthony Founder’s Theater. For ages 16+. Content contains slapstick violence, sexual situations, adult language, and some bawdy humor. Not suitable for all audiences.
The following are show dates and times:
Wednesday, June 7th, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 8th, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 9th, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 10th, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 11th, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 14th, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 15th, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 16th, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 17th, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 18th, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 21st, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 22nd, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 23rd, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 24th, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 25th, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.
Purchase tickets at https://puppet.org/programs/avanti-da-vinci/ or contact the Ticketing office at 404-873-339.
Center for Puppetry Arts® is a unique cultural treasure – a magical place where children and adults are educated, enlightened, and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops, and the hands-on Museum, as well as Digital Learning and Outreach programs. Center for Puppetry Arts is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization and is supported in part by contributions from corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individuals. Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. These programs are also supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Center is a member of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA/USA/ASSITEJ). The Center also serves as the headquarters of UNIMA-USA, the American branch of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the international puppetry organization.