Saturday, January 30, 2010

giggle, giggle quack: A Musical Newmark Theatre

directed: Dan Murphy
book adapted for stage by James E Grote & George Howe
Music & Lyrics by: Grote & Howe

Nathan Avakin  .....  DUCK
Laurie Campbell-Leslie  .....  PIG / Narrator
Jay Pevney  .....  Farmer Brown & Brother Bob
Wendy Martel-Vilkin  .....  HEN
Sara Catherine Wheatley  .....  COW

sez says: being a grandparent results in attendance at shows like this.  I am enthusiastic about exposing my grandchildren to live performance. That lands me at a fairly broad array of experiences that range from super fun --to fall asleep and wish you were home.  This performance sits in the middle of that range.  It has some fun to it but it never makes it to super fun. There is no real story:  A farmer goes on vacation and the farm animals fool the the farmer's brother who has come to take care of them. They get pizza instead of slop and bubble baths instead of mud baths. That is ok, the audience is young and plot complexity could easily swamp them.  But here is the strange part.  While the story is simple the songs are complex.  They are not the stuff that children can leave the theater singing. Introducing children to one or two new big words is great, but when the lyrics are for the grown ups the children get lost. What saved the day was the enthusiastic dancing and prancing.  The performers were all up to the task at hand. None were of a caliber that exceeds 'good job"  The only stand-out was Ms. Wheatley's singing. She has a great voice--but she got little opportunity to demonstrate its potential, that is too bad.

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