World famous Big Nazo improv group to perform in Houlton for the eclipse

3 weeks ago

Big Nazo improv group to perform in Houlton for the eclipse|

HOULTON, Maine — As the story goes, the larger than life Big Nazo creatures live on another planet with a different sun. They recently heard about Houlton and the total solar eclipse and decided to make the intergalactic trek to see the moon shade a different sun from their own. 

“Big Nazo Blink-bots and Yuranian Aliens will be infiltrating Houlton April 6 to 8 so that they can witness the eclipse of Earth’s yellow sun from the best vantage point in the galaxy,” said Big Nazo creator Erminio Pinque.

Big Nazo, founded by renowned puppet-maker Pinque, is an international improv performance group of visual artists, puppet performers and masked musicians including the renegade circus family contortionists, a rowdy rodeo horse, a giant three-eyed robot percussionist, break-dancing police officers, mountain trolls, blob-like go-go dancers, a charismatic lab rat and his giant man-eating chia pet.

Pinque said he envisioned his concept as a puppet show without the stage. Performing around the globe, Big Nazo has entertained audiences and communities in New York, Chicago, Nashville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and international festivals in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Japan, Portugal and Scotland.

French musician Bertrand Laurence can hardly contain his excitement about the Big Nazo extravaganza about to hit Houlton. 

Laurence, who now lives in Houlton, previously toured with Big Nazo and he shares stories about the seven-foot tall cyclops drummer he toured with while playing guitar as the Quattro, a four-eyed, 4-eared creature.

“They are creatures moving through space. They are strolling musical creatures who are going to invade Aroostook County,” he said, laughing. 

As part of the town’s extensive eclipse event scheduling leading up to the total solar eclipse on April 8, planners secured a slot with the world famous Providence, Rhode Island living puppet street theater performers and musicians who make up Big Nazo.  

“I am thrilled beyond words to welcome Big Nazo to Houlton for the Maine Eclipse Festival,” Jane Torres, executive director of the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce said. “Their performances will add an unforgettable dimension to our already exciting lineup of events. This is a fantastic opportunity for our community to come together and experience something truly out of this world.”

While the town is celebrating this once in a lifetime cosmic rarity, it makes sense to bring these larger than life galactic creatures to the community to enhance the experience for locals and the projected 40,000 visitors, said planners.

Torres said she knew from the first time she heard about Big Nazo they would be perfect for Houlton. 

“It will be a great memory for the kids and a great addition to the event,” she said. “They are really teaching about diversity and acceptance.”

Laurence first suggested the international performance group for the eclipse festival to Torres and after many months of trying to put it together, they have finalized the Big Nazo plans, she said. 

Laurence explains that it is hard to describe the Big Nazo experience. 

“It is philosophically beautiful and it forces you to accept others,” he said. “The eclipse is really a wonderful opportunity to all be together for three minutes and forget our differences.” 

Other events on tap for eclipse festival weekend include the Blackfly Brewfest, A Howl at the Moon Dueling Piano Show, Solar System Bus Tours, a 3-day craft fair, and a performance by Maine humorist Tim Sample.