We all know the children’s story of the puppet, Pinocchio, who wanted to be a “real boy”. Remember, the one whose father loved him but he kept lying so his nose grew longer and longer? Then he decided to go to playland instead of school, turned into a donkey, and had to run away. Yes, that one. Just when you think you know it all, The Children’s Theatre Company throws you for a loop and sends you on a splendid new adventure!
Walking into the theater, the stage is full of scaffolding, tools, canvases splotched with paint, and it looks like a workshop. As one of the “workers” enters he asks “why are you here? There is no play, we are just painters.” The kids giggle. Right off the bat I knew we were in for a treat!
The theme is imaginative and creative. The take on the show is out of the box, which allows the audience (kids especially) to imagine. Instead of doing a typical rendition of the show, the cast stays in their painter clothes throughout the production. They use buckets, ladders, planks, paint brushes and other tools around the shop to act as set pieces. They interacted with the kids by asking them questions and even walking through the audience a few times. They loved it!
The cast is comprised of four actors and a musician. Although it may seem small, it is mighty! The two women and two men play several roles. We meet a clever cricket, playful puppets, feisty fox, crazy cat, flying fairy, bully school boys and more. The musician plays multiple instruments which sets the mood. All of the actors did a superb job but I must include a small plug for Dean Holt. He recently played the Cat in “The Cat in the Hat” at CTC and played many characters in “Pinocchio”. He is so incredibly limber I could hardly believe it. The control he has over his body is mind boggling. He jumped five feet in one leap from the ground up to the scaffolding! You could take away his lines and his facial expressions would tell all. It is an incredible trait and perfect for children’s theater.
This show is a wonderful piece of new work (world premiere) that I highly recommend for parent and children alike. Kids will laugh and be excited to interact with the cast. The run time is 1 hour and 45 minutes with an intermission. For more information contact the Children’s Theatre Company: