Thank you to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater for inviting me out to see their new production, Pinocchio. Last Saturday I took the kid (age almost-8) and one of her BFFs (age 8 1/2) to see the play. Quick review is that I liked it and the girls gave two thumbs up. They really did. I asked "How did you like it?" and they gave me two thumbs up. Don't be mad Ebert!
The performance was beautiful. The setting was beautiful, as were the puppets. The songs and music were lovely. The story moved fast, so there was little time for the kids to get bored. At least by the story. I think being 8 means being bored by the inability to move at one's choosing after 10 minutes. Thankfully I purchased some fruit snacks for the girls to keep them focused on something for awhile.
My only exposure to the tale of Pinocchio has been the Disney movie. This alternative, perhaps more authentic, telling of the story was far more bittersweet than I recalled. That made it more powerful too. It was also funnier due to the skills of the wonderful cast, especially Heidi Kettenring as Cat and Derek Hasenstab as Fox. On the way to drop off the kid's BFF, they were pretending to be Fox and Cat. The kid called Cat first. It's worth the price of admission for the few minutes Cat and Fox grace the stage.
Melody Betts stole the show with her vocals and performance as the Blue Fairy. It's worth the price of admission to watch her try to teach Pinocchio what it means to be a human being. I wish I could say that the lessons will soak into our kids' brains, but we'll see.
Jump on over to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's site to look up future dates and to purchase tickets.And you don't need to have kids to go see the show and have a great time.
Disclaimer: Just a reminder that I received comp tickets as I was invited out to view the performance by the CST.