Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review of Thumbelina at Lifeline Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Thumbelina. It was adapted and directed by Amanda Delheimer Dimond based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen in collaboration with Mariana Green, Brandi Lee, and Liz Rice. It was about a very small girl named Thumbelina (Lee) and she really wanted to live a normal life and be able to explore outside, but her mother (Krystal Ortiz) didn't want her to because she was worried she would get hurt. But then she goes out in the middle of the night and gets lost and she starts to meet a bunch of different animals along the way. Then she discovers a new family of fairies, but eventually makes her way back to her mother. This productions had a lot of puppets (designed by Stephanie Diaz), movement (choreography by Dan Plehal), and poetic language. I thought it was very gorgeous and interesting to watch.

I really liked the Frog (Antoniao LaVance Boule Jr.); he is the first animal that Thumbelina meets. He brings her over to his lily pad and wants to get married to her. I thought it was hilarious how Thumbelina called it his "pad." He's going to go and tell his mom all about it because she has been getting on his case about getting married and settling down. But he isn't creepy or anything. He has a cute little raspy voice and he seems nervous. You still want Thumbelina to get away from him because you want the adventure to continue. She makes his pad into a raft with the help of a very friendly fish and then she gets an insect to pull her along, but of course an insect can not pull a small person for very long and then she goes down the waterfall and that is when she gets lost. This shows us she doesn't want to settle down yet! It also shows you that she is very capable of surviving on her own and she doesn't want anyone else's help.

The Mouse (Bryan Bosque) and the Mole (Nate Buursma) take in Thumbelina when she is half frozen out in the cold. I think they either are or would be a cute couple because they kind of reminded me of Frog and Toad from the Arnold Lobel books. Each of them has something the other person doesn't. The Mouse is artistic and the Mole is very interested in keeping everything real and things that fly. Thumbelina does like living with them, but they don't like going outside, which is one of the things she really wants to do and that is the reason she leaves. Also, part of their group is a Swallow (Dominique Watkins) that they find with one broken wing. The Swallow seems to have made the largest impact on Thumbelina; she even wants to go with him to wherever his flock is going. But he says she can't because she can't fly and she needs to stay where she belongs. He also helps her when she needs him the most by saving her when she is about to fall off a cliff.

This is not your average kids' show. It has some very intelligent aspects, and I think that it is very important to get young minds working. When you go and see a kids' show it shouldn't be boring for the parents. This show talks about surviving in the wild, and it also has the subject of friends going away and also feeling different from your family, which are some difficult things to talk about. The movement is very calm and relaxing and nice to watch. People might expect cute little songs or explaining things very slowly and simply, but they will get something that will actually intrigue kids of most ages and adults. It was clear when I saw it that very little kids might not have the attention span to stay intrigued, but probably 3 year olds and up would absolutely love this show.

People who would like this show are people who like capable heroines, cute mole and mouse couples, and frogs settling down. I think kids and their parents should definitely go see this show. There are so many kids who will love it, and I really enjoyed it as well even though I'm almost a teenager.

Photos: Suzanne Plunkett

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