Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review of Ramona Quimby at Emerald City Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Ramona Quimby. It was written by Len Jenkin adapted from the novels by Beverly Cleary and directed by Jacqueline Stone. It was about a girl named Ramona (Rachel Van Marter) who had a sister named Beezus (Molly Parchment) and their Aunt Bea (Giselle Vaughn) was getting married but Ramona doesn't really like the guy she is getting married to, and his name was Hobart (Aaron Lawson). There was another problem, her dad (Lawson) has lost his job at a frozen food company. What they are trying to do in the play is to get their dad to stop smoking and get their dad to get a new job. And they want Hobart and their Aunt Bea to not not have a wedding. Ramona learns to like him at the end. I think this was a really awesome show. It was less happy-happy-funtime than a lot of plays for kids. They talked about actual life experiences. And they also talked about how to fix the bad life experiences by getting other people to help you help that other person get rid of that bad habit.

I really liked the set. It was designed by Michelle Lilly. There were these three dollhouses that they would turn to show you the inside of the house. That was good because it didn't take up too much of the stage and it was very clever. And it only took a few seconds to change locations. I really liked Mrs. Kemp's (Marsha Harman) house because it was tall and when you turned it around it was every little small thing you could imagine in an old lady's house. The first time they were changing the set, I was like, "why are they turning that house around?" And then I was like, "Oh! That's why! There's an awesome little dollhouse."

There were these dates that Hobart and Aunt Bea were on and they would go to amusement parks and stuff like that. I thought it was really cool how Ramona and Beezus made all the different things. Like I thought it was really cool when Ramona and Beezus made their arms into circles and put them above their heads and then they would put them over their aunt and uncle so it would seem like a roller coaster. Each date was kind of like miming; it was really cool.

There is this place that Ramona's family likes to go to called Whopper Burger. Whopper Burger is like the dream place for their family because it is a lot of money to go there. And Ramona's dad says he will quit smoking there, and that is significant. I didn't really understand why the audience paid for their dinner. It seemed kind of strange to me. I didn't understand really why they wanted us to engage in that particular thing. My idea is that they wanted us to feel like part of their family. I thought it was really funny when the waitress (Vaughn) came out and started tap dancing and singing a song. When the dad said, "We'll skip the song today" I thought it was really funny because it seemed like something you would imagine a fast food place being like in a movie or something. And I thought it was really funny how she was happy happy all the time.

I think that the mom (Harman) was a great character. She seemed like she was a good mom even if they weren't in such great shape with money. I knew that she was a great mom because of how she acted with her kids. She wasn't trying to hide that they were out of money from them. She doesn't want them to be upset about it; she just wants their support and help. Ramona and Beezus weren't always the best of friends, and I think that is realistic and I liked how they performed that. The mom did understand because she used to go through being angry with each other with her sister. I think that their sister relationship showed that when Ramona and Beezus grew up they would love each other and wouldn't get into so many fights.

People who would like this show are people who like great moms, cool dollhouses, and tap-dancing waitresses. People should go see this show because is is funny and is great to take your family to. Once the show starts, you feel happy because you feel like a part of the play and not just an audience member. They achieve that by direct address but also by helping the audience get to know the characters so then you feel closer to the characters. This is a really great show and a lot of people should go see it.

Photos: Tom McGrath

No comments: