Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review of Sparky at Lifeline Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Sparky. It was written by Jessica Wright Buha based on the book by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans. Music and lyrics were by Laura McKenzie. It was directed by Amanda Link. It was about a girl named Libby (Eunice Woods) who wanted a pet, but she couldn't get a pet unless it didn't have to be walked, fed, or bathed because her mom (Jhenai Mootz) didn't want to have to deal with that. So what she does is that she looks for a pet in an encyclopedia her mom gives her, and so she decides on a sloth, which is a very unusual pet for a young girl. And she names it Sparky (Andres Enriquez). But then she wants Sparky to be a dog, actually. So she tries to teach him tricks, but to no avail. So she has to learn that Sparky can't be a dog and that you should just let somebody be who they are and not try to change them. I thought it was fun and fabulous and it was a weekend morning well spent. I think it would be great to take your kids to!

There was a lot of sloth humor in this, which happens to be one of my favorite things I love sloth humor. Sloth humor is all about slowness; and if you get the right speed of the movement and match it with the outfit and the content facial expression, then you get the perfect sloth comedy. They did. They got perfect sloth comedy. Somebody who didn't seem to like sloths or comedy very much, even though she did a lot of it, was Mary Potts (Juanita Andersen). She was sometimes a total showoff. She was like an actual friend because she could sometimes be super nice but other times she was a complete showoff. She's funny because she is so exaggerated. And she is so confident in what she is saying and doing even though she was sometimes completely wrong. It was hilarious. There was also many a mom joke in this. You have probably heard of dad jokes, but have you ever heard of mom jokes? They are basically the same: the jokes aren't amazing and they are more like puns than jokes. And she silently laughs along with them because she might be the only one who gets them. But I got a lot of the ones in this show because I spend a lot of time with my mom.

The message of the play was that no matter who you are you should always be yourself and let other people be themselves. I think that adults need to know this too. Libby wants Sparky to be like an amazing trained dog. But of course a sloth isn't a trained dog. He is barely even trainable. You should just feel lucky you have it. If adults have a spouse or a kid who is not the way they want them to be, they just need to accept them for who they are instead of trying to change them. People can only change themselves. Libby learns that Sparky is a good friend and that he is really good at playing dead and walking in slow motion. And then she appreciates those things about him.

The music was super fun and energetic and I really liked it. One of my favorite songs was when Mary Potts was singing about her pets, and she was saying my pets can do all this and they are so amazing. Her cat can bake cookies and meow songs! But Sparky can just play tag very...very...slowly.... And the backup singers were her cat (Mootz) and parrot (Rachel Page) and I thought that was also hilarious. I also liked the song where Libby and Sparky were playing hide and seek for the second time. And Sparky had caught on, but Libby was feeling bad, so he decided "I'll hide." And he sang, "Count ten.... Very...very...slowly." It just made me laugh so hard. I loved it! Another song that I liked was the song about the encyclopedia which was all about animals Libby might be able to have as a pet. And they spelled encyclopedia a lot, so you could learn from it!

People who would like this show are people who like mom jokes, talented cats, and playing tag with sloths. I think people should definitely go see this show. I had lots of fun and I really enjoyed watching it.

Photos: Suzanne Plunkett

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