The Quotable Sayak
The Quotable Sayak is a critic, contributor and coordinator of social media at SesayArts and student at Sesaya.
Review by Sayak S-G
Goodnight Moon . . . where do I start? With the tap-dancing, musical-chair playing bears? The singing cat and the fiddle? The cow jumping over the moon? Or the gigantic 3-D book of The Runaway Bunny? There is just so much going on in this show, it is hard to remember it all. If I could use only one word to describe the play, it would be . . . unexpected!
You probably would not assume a short, bright, soothing, and poetic picture book would turn into an onstage extravaganza! But that’s what the Seattle Children’s Theater has done with Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd‘s classic story Goodnight Moon. When you walk into the theatre, the first thing you see is a set that is identical to the book. This immediately draws in the audience and helps to create the feeling that you’re in the book. Throughout the show, the actors use various elements from the book, but elaborate them and bring them to life. For example, the cow and the moon in the book here turn into a live mini-puppet show.
The main story is that even though his mother (Vickielee Wohlbach) tells him to sleep, the main character Bunny (Mike Spee) can’t sleep, so he stays up and experiences incredible, unexpected things, such as a live rendition of “The Cat and the Fiddle.” Throughout the show, there are various moments where other characters appear, like multi-talented bears, a cow repeatedly trying to jump over the moon, a song-and-dance Tooth Fairy (Auston James), a talking mouse (Molli Corcoran) and even a bedsheet with a mind of its own. There is also a scene where the Tooth Fairy comes in with a dime to place it under Bunny’s pillow–of course with dancing and puns along the way, too, because . . . why not?
The 80-minute long show NEVER left me bored. However, because everything was so fast-paced, my excitement level stayed the same throughout, and I didn’t ever have time to settle down. I think that to adjust this level of high energy, the creators of Goodnight Moon might make some moments calming and relaxed (like the mood of the book) before the end so that, when the thrilling moments happen, everyone is jumping out of their seats.
The phenomenal, multi-talented actors really astounded me. This show is cast and performed extremely well. Goodnight Moon is spontaneous, not afraid to push the envelope, and is a heck of a lot of fun!
News You Can Use
What: Goodnight Moon by Chad Henry; directed by Linda Hartzell; with Jeff Bell, Molli Corcoran, Auston James, Mike Spee and Vickielee Wohlbach; produced by Seattle Children’s Theater
Who: Ages 4 (Kindergarten) and Up
Where: Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front Street East, Toronto, ON
When: On stage until March 19th, 2016
March Break Family Fun: YPT will be buzzing with activity every day March 12-19, 12:45 to 2:15 with free crafts and a scavenger hunt for kids!
FYI: youngpeplestheatre.ca and 416-862-2222
© 2016 Sayak S-G, Sesaya