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Goodnight Moon

a Children's Theater
CATEGORY : COMEDY CHILDREN MUSICAL PUPPET
by Chad Henry (book, music, lyrics), adapted from the book by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

COMPANY : Alliance Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Woodruff Art Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 3177

SHOWING : November 03, 2008 - November 16, 2008

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Embrace the warmth and romance of childhood in a magical journey through the beloved children’s book. As Bunny tries to put away the day and prepare for the delight that dreams will bring, every corner of his room comes to life with a new story to tell. Boisterous puppets, delightful music and the dear old lady whispering “hush” awaken the power of wonder in a room filled with sleeping toys.


CAST & CREW LIST
Music Director Clint Thornton
U/S all female roles Sindhu Giedd
Old Woman/Mama Bear/Puppeteer Amber Iman
Piano Player Jmichael
Mouse/Dog/Baby Bear/Puppeteer Sharon Litzky
Bunny Derek Manson
Tooth Fairy/Papa Bear/Cat/Telephone Brandon Odell
U/S all male roles Mark W. Schroeder
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Unsleepy Bunny
by Dedalus
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
4.0
At the risk of coming across as the world’s worst Father of a Small Child, I have to confess that not only have I never read the classic Margaret Wise Brown / Clement Hurd children’s book, “Goodnight Moon,” to my little girl, but, until this production came along, I’d never even heard of it. My daughter did come to my rescue, though, and filled me in on the story before we ventured Alliance-ward for this tuneful and timely excursion into what really happens when a sleepyhead bunny isn’t quite sleepy enough.

According to my well-informed source, the Brown/Hurd book is a quasi-ontological foray into self-referential ethotic verse, as a sugar-enthused pre-pubescent lagomorph bids a materialistic world adieu (although she didn’t use those particular words). In other words, a bunny says “Good Night” to everything in his room. The charm of the book (according to my source) is the connections between the words and the pictures, the pictures that portray an ever-growing-later green room.

So, the first thing we notice in the Alliance production is that this has to be one of the largest (and tidiest) child bedrooms ever. And, indeed, one of the most magical! Here, pictures come to life, parties spill out from the doll house (a boy bunny with a dollhouse? What politically correct mind-washing is going on here? Next, they’ll be telling us it’s okay for boy bunnies to actually sleep with girl mouses), the walls part to reveal a grinning and talkative moon, stars sing, the tooth fairy is a grumpy boy, the cow gets three chances to jump over that moon, balloons wander aimlessly, and mousey roommates magically turn into bears. Oh my!

If this confession will recoup a few Daddy points for me, I really loved this show, as did my daughter. It moves at the quick pace we’ve come to expect from Rosemary Newcott directions, it wasn’t overloaded with too-fast plot contrivances and too-much sensory overload, the stage magic was, well, magical, and the many songs were pleasant, memorable, and well done. I didn’t hear too much restlessness among the mostly under-10 audience, and it was over before anyone really needed a potty break.

This was also a wonderful cast. I really really liked the manic non-sleepiness if Derek Manson’s Little Bunny and Sharon Litzky’s squeaky-and-giggly-but-not-irritating Little Mouse. Brandon O’Dell may have still been channeling Huck Finn, but his rascally good nature was absolutely perfect for the sorta-grumpy Tooth Fairy, and the not-grumpy-at-all Cat-With-A-Fiddle. And Amber Iman’s Grandmother Mouse and Mama Bear were both studies in Safe-Harbor Parenting and patient wisdom. Jmichael rounded out the cast (and orchestra) with his keyboard stylings and his resonant moon-voice.

So, to sound-byte my reaction, this was a book for preschoolers, transformed into a musical for all kids, and enjoyable by the grown-ups the kids in attendance tolerate. It was fast-paced, well-acted, well-sung, tuneful, and a pleasure to the imagination.

And, for the record, the boy bunny DOES share that room with a girl mousey. Now, if only a certain girl-person of my acquaintance could keep her own room as neat and tidy as this manic bunny (insert indulgent grumpy-daddy sigh here).

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)
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