Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review of Akvavit Theatre's Blue Planet

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Blue Planet. It was by Andri Snær Magnason. It was directed by Wm. Bullion. It was about a planet that just had children on it. No grownups. And one day, a grown man named Jolly-Goodday (Michael T. Downey) came and said that he could make them fly. And on the Blue Planet they all wanted to have sun forever so they had Jolly-Goodday nail the sun to the sky. But that means it didn't benefit so well for other people. I really liked this show; i thought it was circusy and fun. It was pretty complex, but not so complex that a kid couldn't understand it.

I thought the puppets (co-designed by Adam MacAleavey and Kim Morris) were super cool. I really liked the little mole (Linsey Falls) outfit. It was like half-puppet, half-mask with little arms. And there was also cute dog-like sloth-like creature (Deborah Craft) who just crawls up on people on stage and it opens its mouth and is like ea-eah! I thought it was funny how it seemed like it wanted to bite off something when it opened its mouth, but then when it moved away it was like, "Well, there went my meal!" But it was the cutest little murderer. I liked how all the puppets blended cuteness and art together, and cuteness and art are two of my favorite things.

I really liked the character of Jolly-Goodday, even though he was slightly evil. All he wanted was to be the king though. I think he was sympathetic because he seemed like he needed help but he didn't know how to have help and he wanted to do everything by himself. The king wish showed a kid side to Jolly-Goodday because kids want to be the rulers of everything. But adults also want kids to immediately understand them and for the adult to be the ruler. But kids don't want the adults to be the rulers; they want to be free. But by the end, the kids have decided that Jolly-Goodday can have what he wants because he gave them something they wanted, even though it was foolish. It was basically like playing kings and queens with little kids, because of course they don't have any law structure. It was just pretending all day long.

Brimir (Joshua Davis) and Hulda (Sarah Scanlon) are the two heroes of the story. They get swept away into the darkness while they are flying and get swept into this forest full of monsters. One of them, Hulda, loves to fight and thinks that evil monsters and stuff like that are super awesome. I think it is cool how a girl gets to be a the big fighter and get all the monsters and that stuff. And Brimir brought the sweet loving side because he was willing to give up his heart to save the Blue Planet. They make the mistake of telling the children on the other side of the planet that the other side of the Blue Planet was worse off, but that is not true because they are the people who have the sun. But then one of the lessons they learn is that you shouldn't lie to people so then you can get what you want because then you will regret if afterwards. The other lesson is that you shouldn't keep something good for yourself, even if it benefits you greatly, if the other side will be way worse than you. On our planet, it is saying, well, it is kind of a message about war; you shouldn't take something even if it benefits you greatly. With our resources we should try to help other people with them and not just keep them ourselves. I don't think the kids were being horrible when they nailed up the sun because they didn't know there were kids on the other side of the planet, but it was still a pretty bad thing to do because plants couldn't grow there and then that destroys the environment too.

The circus elements were very cool. I really liked how when they were flying sometimes they would go on the silks and try to climb to the top. One of my favorite circus moments was when they were on the silks (choreographed by Scanlon) and Hulda wanted Brimir to always be lower than her, but then he fell and he did basically a silks drop, and I thought that was really cool. They also did stuff like where they would lift another person up in the air while he or she was pretending to fly (movement direction by Nicole Jordan). They already had a bunch of awesome puppets, and a bunch of cool set pieces (designed by Chad Eric Bergman) like the sun/moon and the vacuum ship, and amazing pretty lighting (by John Kelly), and awesome butterflies that Loa (Kim Boler) threw into the audience, and then they added a bunch of awesome circus elements! What more would you need?

People who would like this show are people who like butterflies, circus, and adorable, murderous sloth-dogs. I think people should definitely go see this show. I had tons of laughs and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I loved it!

Photo: Sooz Main

1 comment:

Kate Gray said...

thank you for your review - - we just got back from the show and agree 100% with you. I liked the spiders as much as you liked the murderous sloth-dogs. Your perceptions of the show were spot-on. Thanks for your work!