The Off-Broadway Family Theatre is presenting THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE at St. Luke’s Theatre on west 46th Street. The play is based off the famous children’s story by C.S. Lewis. Four children (two boys and two girls) are playing hide and seek. The youngest girl walks into the wardrobe and finds herself in a mystical land. She meets a sweet fawn but also learns of an evil white witch. She returns back through the wardrobe and brings her siblings with her the second time around. One brother leaves the rest behind to follow the white witch. The others search for him as well as the king of the land, a lion named Aslan to save the day. We find ourselves immersed in a good versus evil story and an epic battle at the end.
In this stage version, there are only two actors who play multiple parts. When they are explaining dialogue, they step to the edge of the stage. When they are acting out a scene, they move to the middle of the stage, a space they called “the magic circle”. Sound effects, lighting and simple costumes help distinguish people, places and events. For example, when Dan Wilson was playing Aslan, he wore a lions mask and strutted around the stage. When he played the beaver, he wore a vest and waddled. Abigail Taylor-Sansom played a handful of parts as well. She did a splendid job of being the adventurous Lucy and then transitioning to the cruel white witch. Both actors had good english accents that they held onto the entire show which was welcomed.
The play clocked in under an hour which was perfect for a kids show. It held their attention, was playful and exciting. I’d suggest it for parents who want to bring their children to live theater where a book can come to life. More information here: http://www.narniaoffbroadway.com/
Ranking: To Be