Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pinnochio's daddy

Geppetto, Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy
I interrupt my series on our trip to England to bring you a review of "My Son Pinocchio" currently on stage at the SCERA in Orem.
We saw it on opening night and were duly impressed with the props and effects, the multitude of little kids included in the cast and the colorful storytelling.
It's quite magical and reflects the creativity director Mindy B. Young always puts into her shows — a time machine that has old cartoon rerun clips in its window? A treasure Island with the biggest black-light spook I've ever seen? A blue fairy whose costume lights up and who rides around on lighted wheelies? A Pinocchio costume that looks remarkably like a wooden boy.
There's a lot to like here.
The songs are fun.
The story is fairly new, based on Geppetto's dismay at having a flawed son.
It's also an old story in that children everywhere often feel they're disappointing their parents and parents everywhere have to deal with children who don't listen and have ideas of their own.
The children in the opening scene misbehave royally with some stomping, others kicking and a few just plain erupting into full-blown tantrums. (Where did they learn to do that?)
Then later when they all have Pinocchio face masks, they're polite, considerate unrecognizable kids.
Pinocchio's a real boy
The Blue Fairy, played nicely by Rebekah Osmond is a combination of sweet and smart aleck attitude when she's approached about taking Pinnochio back. She wants to protect her reputation as a fairy who successfully grants wishes but she's also somewhat taken aback by Geppetto's request.
This is a clever adaptation of a show originally written for youth theater.
Jim Murphy plays the part of Geppetto with Robert Oldroyd playing Pinocchio. Shawn M. Mortensen is the greedy Stromboli trying to tempt Pinocchio away from his home.
Nat Reed's original puppets add to the story particularly when they deliberately confuse their sounds with what they are.
Here's a good show for children who will enjoy the puppets, the fairy, the songs and the scenery.
Parents may zone out in one or two places but overall, the show keeps moving and it's nothing but fun.
And it's only about 1 hour and 45 minutes long.

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