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Review of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at Open Window Theatre

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Quote of the Day: ‘The Lion’ all began with a picture of a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself, ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.’ C.S. Lewis

That’s a long time to be walking around with a seed of an idea. That’s how the creative process works. You are like a computer with data input, processing time, and energy. Sometimes, you can print out a creation in a short time, while other times, it takes years. One of the many things I love about the story of young Lucy and her siblings walking through that wardrobe is that they can have a lifetime of adventure in Narnia, then walk back through the portal, and in some ways nothing has changed, time has frozen, and in other ways, everything has changed. They’ve discovered another world with mythical creatures, a Witch/Queen who rules with a frozen heart in a land that is always winter and never Christmas, and they learn to be brave and loyal. As a girl growing up in the Northern part of Minnesota, where most of winter feels that way, it was an instant connection. As I walk around the neighborhood, or drive at night, I admire the lovely holiday lights and think, “We should just leave those up all winter.” We spend so much time in the dark and the cold, and those lights give us a little cheer. Preparing for Christmas puts a little spring in our step. And, watching shows together like The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe warm our hearts and give us a chance to make memories with friends and family. The best thing about this show is that it is for the whole family. It might be a little long and sad for preschoolers, but from elementary age kids on up to grandparents, this show has something that everyone can enjoy, connect with, be entertained by, and learn a little more about themselves. 

"The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" at The Open Window Theatre. Jeremiah Cox as Peter, Mikaela Kurpierz as The White Witch, Josie Axelson as Susan, Madeline Ann Sundheim as Lucy, and Jack Alexander as Edmund. Photo credit Matt Berdahl Photography / Jeremy Stanbary

“The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” at The Open Window Theatre. Jeremiah Cox as Peter, Mikaela Kurpierz as The White Witch, Josie Axelson as Susan, Madeline Ann Sundheim as Lucy, and Jack Alexander as Edmund. Photo credit Matt Berdahl Photography / Jeremy Stanbary

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the most famous of C.S. Lewis’ novels is so well loved because it illustrates the Biblical story of Christ’s sacrifice. It also shows what it means to be loyal to your family and friends, to be brave under trying circumstances, and that love wins. The Open Window Theatre in Minneapolis provides a place to experience theatre with your family. They do an excellent job of staging, adding music and sound, and casting their shows. The kids were wonderful in their roles. The White Witch (Mikaela Kurpierz)was stunning and powerful. When Aslan (Peter Simmons) entered, I felt a change in the room, like the king really had arrived. The scene changes were executed smoothly by the woodland creatures, and other cast members, like turning the pages of the book. 

The holiday season reminds us that relationships are important. The gift of time and experience is the most precious, and I feel grateful for the day I spent with the Cartwright girls. We left early, enjoyed art and lunch at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, then dinner at Bad Waitress (a favorite), then took in this delightful show. Thank you, Open Window Theatre, for providing a place where families can enjoy theatre together.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is playing at The Open Window Theatre, Dec. 4-30, 2015. Many of the shows are sold out, so please call ahead to secure tickets. 

Jade Grutsch as Unicorn/Wood Nymph, Arnie Roos as Mr. Beaver, Karen Weise-Thompson as Mrs. Beaver, and Peter Simmons as Aslan. "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" Photo Credit: Matt Berdahl Photography / Jeremy Stanbary

Jade Grutsch as Unicorn/Wood Nymph, Arnie Roos as Mr. Beaver, Karen Weise-Thompson as Mrs. Beaver, and Peter Simmons as Aslan. “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”
Photo Credit: Matt Berdahl Photography / Jeremy Stanbary

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What are some ways you make memories with your family during the holidays, and throughout the year?

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