Photos by Jackie Jensen at ICPixx
|Kim Qual, Ali Heath, Greg Kilberger, Carl Brown|
The story begins with a fumbling Town Crier (Kim Qual) who, along with his somewhat more keen daughter Abigail (Makayla Phillips), stumbles upon a trio of tricksters who are new in town. Sly (Carl Brown), Wily (Nicole DeSalle), and Meanie (Helena Brown-Rodriguez) are passing off counterfeit money, picking pockets, and seem very eager to meet the gullible Emperor (Trent Yoder). When they hear there's going to be a parade every Friday, they ingratiate themselves and begin to come up with more and more expenses, including a robe made out of a fabric so delicate it's invisible. In the meantime, they are able to trick Jack (Kirk Saylor) with a pouch of magic beans, much to the chagrin of his angry mother (Ariane Parkes-Perret).
The mixing of the two fairy tales works fairly well, though there are some awkward moments. The entire business with the beanstalk happens offstage, including the ogre, and Jack simply rushes on with an axe in time to become the boy in the parade who innocently points out that the Emperor has no clothes. It works, but it feels a bit pat, and it would have been nice to see a more elegant solution, or even to see the giant lumber onstage. The piece, however, already has its share of fun antagonists, so maybe Foxton simply thought this was unnecessary. The script in general is very successful, full of recognizable characters, places for the audience to chime in, and bits of whimsy and silliness that kids love.
|Helena Brown-Rodriguez, Noel VanDen Bosch, Trent Yoder|
This is a funny show performed with commitment and skill, and it's just the right place to bring a family this holiday season. Go check it out; your kids will thank you.
The Emperor's New Clothes, or Five Beans for Jack plays through December 15. Ticket info available here.