In a handwritten note to Seven Days, Tom Azarian, aka Tom Banjo, is apologetic about his spelling — “I only got as far as the 8th grade,” he writes. But limited formal education didn’t keep the Burlington old-timey musician and artist from a lifetime of creative output, nor from astutely observing and assessing the ways of the world. The latter habit has also made him an outspoken activist. All these talents are on display in his latest creation, “Snow White: An Adult Puppet Show of Our Time.” The half-hour video, attributed to the Ragtag Thumbtack Theatre, has been shown a few times at Burlington’s Radio Bean Coffeehouse and is appearing twice weekly on VCAM.
The “adult” in the show’s subtitle does not refer to anything X-rated, other than a few cuss words. Children would enjoy this show for the folky, handmade puppets and simply drawn characters, which include woodland creatures. Little ones might be puzzled by this updated version of the fairy tale, though: Here Snow, evicted from the forest by rapacious developers, becomes an organizer and is arrested as an eco-terrorist before becoming … well, never mind. Don’t want to spoil the ending. Suffice it to say, this tale has a lot more to do with global corporations pillaging the planet than with hardworking dwarves and their beloved fair maiden. There’s even a mini-diatribe on Marxist economics. All ages, though, can cheer for Azarian’s witch and her spectacular spells.
Azarian is not selling “Snow White” on DVD, so check the VCAM schedule for showings throughout the month.
“Snow White: An Adult Puppet Show of Our Time”. On VCAM, Channel 15, Fridays at 10 p.m. and Mondays at 6:30 a.m. Through March. vermontcam.org