Review by Mary Kate Groh of “Pinocchio”: Madcap Puppet Theater
Madcap Puppet Theater opens its 2019-2020 Hats Off Series with the cherished tale of “Pinocchio.” This hilarious and engaging performance directed by Dylan Shelton kept the young audience members on the edge of their seats as they watched the story of a wooden puppet who just wants to become a real boy.
The show opens with a cricket narrating the story of how Geppetto creates a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. One night, Geppetto makes a wish for Pinocchio to become a real boy. The rockstar Blue Fairy makes his wish come true and allows the wooden puppet to move, talk, and think. The Blue Fairy tells Pinocchio that he can become a real boy if he learns to be kind, good, and honest. However, she warns Pinocchio that if he tells a lie, his nose will grow. Geppetto sends Pinocchio to school, however on his way to school, Pinocchio gets lured into skipping school to join Mangia at Fun Land. Pinocchio is unaware that this was a trap to turn all the children into donkeys. Geppetto, worried about Pinocchio, goes out to sea to search for him, however, he gets swallowed by a giant Dogfish. The Blue Fairy comes to Pinocchio to help him escape Fun Land and save Geppetto. After reuniting with his loving Papa, Pinocchio finally turns into a real boy.
The two actresses, Rachel Bailey and Rachel Kimberlin, did a fantastic job with keeping the young children engaged and entertained. The children were very responsive when the puppeteers asked the audience questions, and when they asked for volunteers to participate in the show, almost every child’s hand flew into the air in excitement.
The children’s faces lit up when each puppet was brought on stage. The puppets were crafted with such exquisite design by the ever-so-talented Blythe Russo and Chris Douglas. One of my favorite parts of the production was at the end of the performance when Rachel Bailey and Rachel Kimberlin opened the floor for any questions the audience members had, and they took the time to show off the unique puppets that were used in the performance.
Pinocchio is playing at the Madcap Puppet Theater on November 3, 9, and 10. Tickets: $10, Free for Family Memberships. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone (513) 721-ARTS. Vouchers can be redeemed for complimentary tickets by phone (513) 721-ARTS or in person. More information can be found on the Hats Off Series website: https://madcappuppets.com/programs/hats-off/