Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review of The Moonstone at Lifeline Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Moonstone. My dad was in it! It was a mystery, and it was really late at night, and I had a cupcake after. The play was fun and scary. At intermission we tried to guess who stole the Moonstone. The Moonstone was a birthday present that was given to Rachel who is a teenager. The Indians got it, but then an officer got it from them. The Moonstone is a diamond that is magic. I will not be able to tell you who stole the Moonstone because that would be giving away the play. During the show, I felt kind of weird because I felt kind of scared that the person who stole the Moonstone was like someone who you liked who was a main character--and that would be so horrid.

Godfrey was played by C. Sean Piereman. Godfrey was the cousin of Rachel and he proposed to her. I thought that was weird because in this time you can't marry your cousins. It would be weird if my cousin did that. That would be super-weird. I thought C. Sean did a good job playing someone who is in a charity and gives money to people that are poor. He is popular with the ladies in the charities because he is the only man there.

Cuff was played by Dave Skvarla. He was a detective, and it is really cool that there is a detective because I expected just the people in the house to try and find the Moonstone. He loved the roses--that was pretty interesting because most detectives in books don't say what kind of flower they like. I expected that he was going to be interested in finding stuff and not roses. Cuff discovered that it had to be someone at the party, or how could they have gotten inside? There was a smear on the door because it was painted, and we thought we knew who did it, but we actually didn't, and I won't tell you. Cuff thought that someone with a smear on him or her had to have stolen the Moonstone. Dave did a good job pretending that he was a rose detective who tried to find the Moonstone.

Lady Verinder was played by Jenifer Tyler. I thought the character was interesting because she didn't believe that her daughter stole the Moonstone even though Rachel had it last. I thought she did a good job playing a mom because she sounded calm when they were leaving their house even though the Moonstone was lost and, even worse, they thought Rachel stole the Moonstone. I thought she was kind of sad when she was sick. She still runs the house even though she is sick. I thought she was brave.

Kaitlin Byrd played Miss Clack and Rosanna. Miss Clack was funny and Rosanna was more serious. Kaitlin was good at doing two different personalities during the play. Miss Clack was really funny but I think she thought she was being serious. And I didn't think she was serious at all; I thought she was really funny. She kept picking out books to give to people because she thinks they will make them feel better. But not all books can make people feel better. If someone gives you a book that is scary, do not read it when you are sad. The books had scary things like devils and poems that were sad. Rosanna was a housemaid at the house, and she was in love with somebody that doesn't like her that much because he likes Rachel better. She is really sad because she had a lot of sad parts to her life--like going to jail. I feel sorry for her because she is so disappointed and she can't marry Franklin.

There were these two characters and their names were Betteredge and Penelope. They were played by Sean Sinitski and Sonja Field. Betteredge told some of the story--he talked about himself and trying to find the Moonstone. He liked to read books, and most of them he thought happened to him in his life even though they weren't about him. He was a servant and when they moved he was left by himself at the house they didn't live in any more. Then he might have been lonely because his daughter went with them. I felt sorry for him. Penelope was the daughter of Betteredge. I thought she had a cool character because she kept interrupting her father's story because she was saying stuff like "Oh father, don't forget this and this and this and this." When Miss Clack said to her, "you shouldn't wear ribbons in your hair, it is too pretty," Penelope was coming upstairs and she was muttering to herself, " I have never been so insulted in my life," and it was kind of funny because she was so angry.

John Henry Roberts played Mr. Murthwaite, and he also played Septimus Luker. This was his second show at Lifeline. And he played a bad guy and a good guy in this one, but in the other one he just played a bad guy. I didn't see Wuthering Heights but I did see The Moonstone because why would I be writing this review? He did a good job talking about exploring because he was the only explorer and he was very scientific--he did a good job pretending to be scientific. Septimus Luker was a bad guy--there were a few different bad guys--and John did a good job playing two characters that had a very different personality.

Bruff is played by Vincent P. Mahler. Bruff is a lawyer of Lady Verinder, and he takes care of Rachel as her foster father. Bruff was funny at some parts and sad at some parts--when Lady Verinder died. I think he is nice because he takes care of Rachel. He is nice and not nice sometimes when he plays a trick on Rachel to get Rachel and Franklin friends again. Vincent did a good performance when he talked to the explorer about who stole the Mooonstone. I felt kind of excited about who stole the Moonstone when they did the conversation because they were talking about who might have stolen the Moonstone in an exciting way.

Ezra Jennings was played by Peter Greenberg. I thought he did a good job playing his character. I liked when he was telling his plan because I thought that was cool. His plan is to find out who stole the Moonstone actually. He did an experiment to try to make the person who stole the moonstone do it again.

Franklin was played by Cody Proctor. He is one of the people who doesn't die. He is a person that is in love with Rachel--there are two people who are in love with Rachel. He tried to find out who stole the Moonstone and tries to make people talk to him again because people don't talk to him anymore. He is not like Cuff because he is in love with Rachel. He is like Cuff because he is like a detective kind of because he is trying trying trying to find out who stole the Moonstone so hard. I thought he was a cool character because he tries to find the Moonstone really hard.

Rachel was played by Ann Sonneville. She was nice to Clack at some parts, but not always. She says to Miss Clack whenever she leaves the room--"Clack"annoyed in a whisper. I thought how she said "Clack" was so hilarious. Clack is a funny name to call someone. I felt sorry for Rachel because she had lost her birthday present, and it was brand new. If I lost a present that I just got, I would have felt sad like Rachel too. When she lost the Moonstone I thought it was kind of scary because she had lost the Moonstone and the Moonstone was a special jewel. She forgives somebody for stealing the Moonstone--I thought that was cool.

There was a scene where Godfrey proposed to Rachel. Miss Clack was telling the story at this part, and Miss Clack said "but I was too late!" because then she saw the kiss. She didn't want to see it because she had a crush on Godfrey. You did know that because she hugged him. I loved this scene! I thought it was funny.

I liked their outfits. Bill Morey did them. All their costumes didn't look like the twenty-first century, which is good because then they got the time period right--it was the time when Jane Austen was writing. A few years later. I thought the masks that the Indians wore were cool but kind of creepy. I liked Miss Clack's outfit--it was kind of funny because she had a bonnet that had flaps over her ears and the flaps went up and down. I liked the white dress that Rachel wore at her birthday: it was down on her shoulders, and I think it had fancy designs on the bottom, and she wore the Moonstone on it. There was the set by Ian Zywica and it had two doors, and it had an upstage that was really cool because it had a fireplace and it turned into a balcony. It also was a place where people usually died. And there was a scene that was in India and they had the Moonstone and they put it into a face. All those things were in the exact same place upstage. I thought the set was cool.

This show should be for ages 5 and up. People that like diamonds, people that like scary stuff, people that like experiments, and people who like mysteries would like this play. And you should go expecting some smoking and dying people--just people in the play, not you. How would I be writing this review if I were dead?

It would have been hilarious if the Indians had said, "If you want to be entertained, that will be one Moonstone."

Photos: Suzanne Plunkett

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review of The Neofuturists' Laika Dog in Space

Laika Dog in Space was a play about a dog named Laika who went into space. It was fun. They sent Laika into space because they wanted to send her up into space before they sent a person into space to find out if it was safe because a dog is not as important as a person is, and anyway they are animals and they don't understand as well. I thought it was a little mean because dogs are actually as important as humans.

You go in to the place before the show starts and there is all this stuff. You can weigh a squirrel, and you can also get your hair static. Mine went really really static, and my hair stood up in the back. The left squirrel was the heaviest. There were squirrels because dogs chase squirrels. The dog pictures had some that I know that are: Scooby Doo, Snoopy, Fala (it was President Roosevelt's dog), Balto. Barack Obama's Dog Bo Obama, he was cute.

There was a part with a puppet dog who was pretending to be Laika. The puppet dog has a friend who was a purple fairy, and she told stories to her at night. And I thought that was really cool. She told her a story called "The Turnip." And there was a dog who failed but she liked it anyway because she only liked stories with dogs in it. They made the dog puppet in outer space because that would make children feel less sad because then Laika wouldn't die. In real life Laika did die, but I like the story that they told better than the real life one.

There was this song called "I Want a Dog!" and it was really funny because Eevin Hartsough was singing a really sad song, and then she went to a rock and roll song. It was about how much she really really really wanted a dog. Because she really wanted a dog that was like Laika because Laika was really brave. One of my favorite parts with Eevin in it was the part with The Little Prince. The pictures were funny. They were always about a boa constrictor digesting something. I had some ideas which were narwhal, steps, and house. The house was right. Eevin said "I should have done a narwhal." She said lines like that that were not in the script. I thought that was good and cool because it made it less like a story and more like improv. The calm voice, played by Caitlin Stainkin, said, "I just figured out what a narwhal is." Everybody laughed when she said that. It made me feel good because I was part of the show.

The game show was called Space Race and these people had to drink orange juice upside down, and they also had to try to get to space by answering questions like "What was in my lunch box in the 5th grade?" The person that played the game show host was named John Pierson. He was funny. I saw him in two other plays: The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett... and Daredevil Hamlet. He played a lot of parts in The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett.... I can't tell you the whole title of that play because it is too long. He played Ophelia in Daredevil Hamlet. It is kind of hilarious thinking that a boy is playing a girl that is in love with someone. Now I am talking about Laika Dog in Space. When they are drinking their orange juice he said, "While they are drinking their orange juice I will entertain you all by licking my elbow!" It wasn't actually all that entertaining because sometimes we were looking at the orange juice. But it was actually pretty funny, so I watched it half of the time and the orange juice half of the time. So that makes a whole time.

The isolation part with space suits was really funny because they were doing the moon walk and having light fights. They went in corners so it would look like isolation. But it wasn't isolation because they were talking to each other! They kept telling stuff even though the calm voice was telling them to be quiet. That was hilarious.

The cooking was good. They made borscht. Rob Neill told us that the soup was made in Russia because Laika was Russian. It was a great kind of soup. I got to have it afterwards, so that's how I know. The actors gave the audience the soup so the audience would stay longer and the actors could talk to the people. That felt like they liked us. Rob was also the guy in the black coat that came to visit Laika. I thought he did he did a good job pretending to fight.

There were three story times but I am only telling you about my favorite. And Jill Beckman read it. So, Laika was walking in the woods, and then she went into the city, and then someone picked her up that was smiling. And then he took her to his laboratory and sent her into space. I liked it the most because it was a true story. I think she did a good job reading the story because she watched the story with the puppet Laika in it so then she could kind of make the Laika in the book kind of like Laika the puppet. I thought that was cool.

People who would like the show are people who like dogs and people who like space and people who like borscht. People should go see it because it is so funny. I always felt interested and happy. Laika liked her house, and she liked her friends, and people came to visit her. I like this way of thinking about Laika better--even if it is not the true story. I think the play wants you to think the not sad way.

Photos: Evan Hanover

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus at Emerald City Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. And they had different stories from the Pigeon books by Mo Willems. They had Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and The Pigeon Wants a Puppy. They also had The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog. They also had Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late. That was cool. People love all the Pigeon books, so people want a lot of Pigeon books in the show. I know all the stories that Emerald City is doing as plays this year. I thought the play was really good, but it was a little bit more for littler kids I thought.

The Duckling was played by Daiva Bhandari. She had a funny line in the book and the play which was "Hmm. Needs mustard." And she did a good job playing the Duckling because she really acted like Duckling. She was very quick-talking and cute and sweet. When the Duckling was cutest was when she was writing all the stuff the Pigeon said with an enormous notebook and an enormous pencil--because she was a bird. She was also as funny as the Pigeon when she did the Duckling dance--it was hilarious and they played old-fashioned music. The songs were always funny and they were never sad or scary because the show was for little kids.

The Bus Driver was played by Bret Beaudry. He was the person that was always in every Pigeon book except for
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog--instead there was a duckling. The Bus Driver was one of the serious characters except when he played the game-show man. Then he was really funny. The Bus Driver makes it easier to see how the Pigeon is not doing what other birds and people should do--they should give pieces of hot dogs to other people.

The Pigeon was played by James Zoccoli, we call him JAZ because I know him--that's how I know I call him JAZ. He did a good job playing the Pigeon. He just gave the play a lot of funny stuff. He wouldn't do anything at all that the Bus Driver wanted him to do. I don't do that to my mom, luckily. He loved to refuse stuff. Everything that he refused was something that was supposed to be good for him, like when he wouldn't go to bed. But I go to bed every night, but when I wake up in the night and I have had a bad dream I call my mom in to cuddle with me--or my dad if my mom is not home. The play asks you to do what the Pigeon is NOT doing. It is really kind of funny because everything that I really like to do is do everything that the Pigeon doesn't want to do. You need a driver's license to drive, and I never drive, but someday I will. But the Pigeon never will because he is a Pigeon. James looked like the Pigeon. The Pigeon's head is round and he looked like the Pigeon because of his head--because he is bald and that makes his head look roundish. They had this outfit for the Pigeon that looked like human clothing and also like Pigeons. JAZ is as funny as the Pigeon too. When he made the face when the puppy came out, it didn't look that scary to us, but because he was playing a part he just screamed, and that was funny. He was one of the funniest people in the show because the rest were more serious.

My favorite parts that were in the play that were in the book were the Duckling saying "Hmm. Needs mustard," when the Pigeon wanted to drive the bus and the Bus Driver would never let him, and the Duckling writing with the enormous pencil and notebook. The parts that were not in the books were the parts which were the game shows. It was funny how the Duckling was in all the game shows, and usually there are no game shows in the books, and the Duckling is not in most of them. She is only in one book. When they did the game shows it was kind of a little bit good because then it made the play longer and most people that went were older than what the books were written for. And it was kind of not a little bit good because it also meant that people that have not read the book will think there is going to be a game show, and they will get the books and realize there is not going to be a game show in them.

These are some of the stuff I think they should change in the play. They should get a bigger puppy that is still not a real one, and they should also get out the game shows. They should keep all the stuff that is in the book.

The people that would like this are people who like Mo Willems and people who like birds. You should expect a craft for the kids to do, but this time they don't let the kids do everything. It is a shaker that is a hot dog, and you can decorate it with stickers, but it sounds like you can only have one sticker. I think this play should be for ages 3 and up because there is no fighting or killing or stabbing and it is all the way funny. People should go see it because it is funny, and it is a good experience for little kids who don't know a lot about Mo Willems because then they will. It is a good adaptation of the Pigeon books.

Photos: Emerald City Theatre Company