Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hansel and Gretel puppet opera

I'll get back to my posts about Going Deep tomorrow. Before I forget (and in case any of you are close by and can get to the last show at 2 p.m. on Sunday), I want to mention Paul Mesner Puppets and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra production of the opera, Hansel and Gretel. I went last night and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The voices are done by soloists who are in full view of the audience, as well as a children's chorus. The puppets are five feet tall, on rods worked by up to three puppeteers at once (they're not visible, unless you're in the balcony). I especially liked Gretel and the Witch, who had 80s glam-rock hair.

I sat next to an eight-year old who also had a good time. Before the show, she and I discussed The Secret Garden and A Little Princess in detail, and I heard her speaking French to the adult cousin who brought her to the show.

The crowd of older folks in the row behind us enjoyed the performance just as much--I heard one gent guffawing at one of Paul's lovely comic touches. He's great at working comic relief into the show. For example, before the witches' dance, a puppet who looked very much like a popular young wizard from a contemporary series of books flew around the stage, and there was some nice silliness with a goose and a chicken. One of the women behind me announced to her friends in the intermission, "There were 14 angels , just as there should be."

The show is at the Folly in downtown Kansas City. I highly recommend it!

No comments: