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The Red Shoes 

When: Thu., May 26, 8 p.m., Fri., May 27, 8 p.m., Sat., May 28, 8 p.m., Mon., May 30, 2 & 8 p.m., Tue., May 31, 8 p.m., Wed., June 1, 8 p.m., Thu., June 2, 8 p.m., Sat., June 4, 2 p.m. and Sun., June 5, 2 & 8 p.m. 2011
Phone: (843) 722-2764
Price: $25-$60
www.spoletousa.org
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Bare bones. In 2009, Cornwall's Kneehigh Theatre wowed Spoleto audiences with Don John, a dark and mesmerizing rejiggering of the Don Juan tale that featured an elaborate set composed of train cars, a full rock band, and some of sexiest dry-humping we've ever seen on stage. This time, Kneehigh is scaling back with a bare-bones set and a handful of actors. But don't let that deter you: This production still packs a dramatic punch.

A fairy tale for adults — sick, twisted adults. Based on Hans Christian Andersen's time-honored tale, "The Red Shoes," the Kneehigh adaptation is a dark and sinister story about a girl who falls in love with a pair of red shoes. Her world goes downhill from there. The production also has a bit of a meta thing going on: a sinister narrator stationed above the stage forces the dead-eyed, nearly-naked actors on stage to perform this nightmarish story.

Take that, Tarantino. You know that scene in Reservoir Dogs where Mr. Blond cuts off the ear of a cop while Steeler's Wheels' "Stuck in the Middle" plays? Well, there's one bit in The Red Shoes that is just as unnerving. Be sure to tuck your feet under your chairs.

— Chris Haire
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