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Review of Pinocchio at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis

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Quote of the Day: Never trust people who promise to make you rich in a day. They’re either crazy or lying. Carlo Collodi, author of Pinocchio

Lies, my dear boy, can easily be recognized. There are two kinds of them: those with short legs, and those with long noses. Your kind have long noses. Carlo Collodio, about Pinocchio 

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I love the graphics on creating the letters in the title.

The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN has a delightful production of Pinocchio told in a unique way that opens your imagination. It shows children (and other audience members) how to tell stories by using their environment. A paint can becomes a drum, the paint brushes, donkey ears. A paper hat is all you need for a great costume, and your body and words make the story come alive. My companion Krista said, “I loved the rawness of this show. It makes you realize how talented those actors are.” When they use seemingly ordinary, everyday objects as props, set and costume pieces, your mind quickly leaps to the suspension of belief. Your imagination sparks, and you are quickly absorbed in the story, wondering what they might use next to bring it to life. 

Here’s a short summary from the press release from the Children’s Theatre Company: Greg Banks’ fast-pace reimagining will feature the four actors as painters that have shown up to paint the walls of the empty theatre, only to find an audience eagerly anticipating a production of Pinocchio.  The four playfully scramble with the tools of their trade (paint brushes, ladders, mops, scaffolding, etc.) to tell the story of Pinocchio, eagerly asking for help from the audience to propel the story forward. From the moment Geppetto creates him from a lump of wood, Pinocchio dreams of being a real boy, but will the all-too-tempting delights of puppet shows and Playland be too much? When Geppetto is swallowed by a whale, it is up to this little wooden puppet to show his courage and prove his love for his Papa is real.

Elise Lnager as Pinocchio, at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Dan Norman

Elise Lnager as Pinocchio, at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN.
Photo by Dan Norman

All of the elements of the story of Pinocchio that you know and love are in this production with the addition of the heart and talents of The Children’s Theatre Company. For the child, it shows you how to use the objects in your environment to create and tell stories together. For the older members of the audience, you see the power of love and developing self-control and self-worth. For creative spirits, like myself, it sparks ideas and encourages me to go out and make art with the young and old, using whatever means is at hand.

I hope you get a chance to experience this unique production of Pinocchio, adapted and directed by Greg Banks, and brought to life by the multi-talented cast and crew at The Children’s Theatre Company. Company members Dean Holt and Reed Sigmund shine with all their talents from gymnastics to booming baritone voice. Elise Langer returns at the naive and curious Pinocchio. Joy Dolo, Holt, and Reed play various parts, seamlessly becoming each character, giving each one something unique. Victor Zupanc is so incredibly talented as the composer, musician, and actor on stage. Some of the instruments he played were the violin, accordion, box drum, and various percussion. Pinocchio is playing through August 14, 2016.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: Choose five random objects near you and create a picture, tell a story, or give them a new purpose. 

  1. Thanks, Corey Kretsinger!

  2. Children’s Theatre Company

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