Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review of The Adventures of Pinocchio at Chicago Shakespeare

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Adventures of Pinocchio. I've seen other of Chicago Shakespeare's works like Aladdin, The Emperor's New Clothes, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Twelfth Night. My favorite ones that I've seen so far were As You Like It and Twelfth Night because they are made by Shakespeare. Aladdin, Emperor's New Clothes,and Pinocchio were good but they weren't my favorites because they were kids' shows, and I like grown-up shows better than kids' shows, which is weird because I am a kid. Kids' shows I can love them, but I don't double love them. Some grown-up shows have romance, adult jokes, killing people, tough words. If you don't know all the words it makes the play more complicated, and then it makes it a puzzle, and it is more fun to figure out.

Pinocchio is about a puppet that comes to life and becomes a son to an old man. Pinocchio's nose kept getting longer because he keeps lying. The play feels like lying is a bad thing. I think it is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. If a villain was asking for your money you could say you were poor and didn't have any. When the Cat and Fox are telling Pinocchio to bury the money he could say I am very rich and don't need any more money. That would be a lie, but then they wouldn't steal money from him. When something bad is happening, then you can lie because you need to save yourself.

I liked the scene where Pinocchio (Skyler Adams) was in the puppet show. The puppet show was done by this terrible person who killed puppets; he was called the Puppet Master, played by Ron Rains. Pinocchio danced better than Mary and Annette to show how cheesy the other puppets were. They just like moved their arms floppy and they didn't look real. They sang like robots, and they looked like robots. The actors (Hannah Sielatycki and Katie Spelman) did a good job pretending to be marionettes. The joke was Mary and Annette made the word Marionette. Mari Onette. I thought that when Pinocchio dances he dances so much like a human that they thought he wasn't a puppet--but actually he was a really good dancing puppet. He did a really good job too.

I think Melody Betts in the program should not be the Storyteller but should be the Storyteller/Blue Fairy/Geppetto's Wife. That would be more specific of who she played. All three of those parts were the same person. You didn't know she was Gepetto's wife until the end, but you did know the Storyteller and the Blue Fairy were the same person. I like how she was Geppetto's wife; I thought it was touching and unexpected, and I thought she looked like a very nice Fairy and Mother and Storyteller.

Lampwick is really mean and ornery. Lampwick was played by Dylan Saunders. He sang this song with Pinocchio and the other boys saying, "Terra DI Ragazzi!" I really liked the song called "Terra DI Ragazzi" because I thought it was a cool and catchy song. I wanted to sing "Terra DI Ragazzi" a thousand times in a row. It is about Terra DI Ragazzi which is a fun park with no girls (no fair!) and no parents and no teachers. One reason that I want girls to go to Terra DI Ragazzi was I want more girls to be in this play. And, two, why I don't want them to go to Terra DI Ragazzi (do you like how I say "Terra DI Ragazzi"?) is because they are going to turn to donkeys.

Liz Pazik played the Driver who sang the song with the boys and Pinocchio. She was trying to get them to come to Terra DI Ragazzi. I thought The Driver...it was kind of weird because she said no girls but she was a girl herself. Maybe she auditioned for the part and did a really good job even though she wasn't a boy. And you can't judge by sex.

The scene in the whale was hilarious because Pinocchio said, " I have donkey ears, I have a tail, and I'm in a fish." I thought it was funny because it was getting worse, it was getting worse, and it was getting a tiny bit better. Being in a fish isn't as bad as being half animal because he might be able to get out of the fish.

I liked Don Forston in The Emperor's New Clothes. He played the Emperor in The Emperor's New Clothes. He was really funny; he reminded me of one of my teachers named Mr. Jay. The problem with Geppetto is that Geppetto is a very stupid character. He sends his child away when he is not even a day old. Maybe in that time they didn't have homeschool and it was the only way to get an education. And everybody wants an education. You have to be more than less than one day to start school. He should have waited and not sent him off on his own when he was only a few seconds old! Geppetto learns his lesson at the end. His lesson is 1) don't send your child out when he is less than a day old, and 2) he shouldn't send Pinocchio to school when he only knows a few words and how to sing. Pinocchio should also know how to say the ABCs and stuff like that. Geppetto should have taken Pinocchio with him to get the ABC book. Then Pinocchio could have picked out the ABC book he wanted. Like there could have been one that was white and Dr. Seuss.

Ericka Mac played the Cat. The Fox was played by Derek Hasenstab. I thought they were funny in their parts. There was this funny part where the Cat said "Don't dig up any wooden nickels." And the Fox said quietly, "Wooden nickels. That's hilarious." The way they said their lines was cool because they said that money actually grew on trees, but it didn't. It actually got stolen. They stole it! In the Disney Pinocchio they made the Fox and the Cat kind of creepy, but in this they made them more lovable.

Kevin Depinet was the set designer. I thought it was a cool set. The wheels at the top of the stage turned on with lights and colors and became ferris wheels. And I thought how they did the whale was cool. They made part of the stage open which was the mouth, and then they made it close, and they made red lights for the eyes. Meredith Miller I thought did a good job doing the puppets. I thought it was cool how they used the puppets to tell parts of the story. I thought it was interesting because they go back and forth: so one time Pinocchio is played by a puppet, one time by a human, one time by a puppet.

The people who will like this show are people who like puppets, fairy tales, Italian people, and fast, catchy music. I think this should be for ages two and up. If a two-year-old wants to come and see this, there is one thing they might be frightened of, so beware. It is the whale with the red eyes opening and the mouth. I think Chicago Shakespeare is not only good for Shakespeare; it is also good for children's shows.

Photos: Michael Brosilow

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Dress Review of Lakeside Shakespeare's Macbeth & A Midsummer Night's Dream

Once upon a time, I went to go see two dress rehearsals, and they were called A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. Ahhhh! Hot potato, officer's drawers, Puck will make amends! Ow! That was something from a show that I watched called Black Adder. It is hilarious. It was about Blackadder and these two actors and Prince Mini-brain. A theater rule is that they must call Macbeth the Scottish Play (at least I am not in a theater now). Why do you think the actors did the hot-potato-officers-drawers-Puck-will-make-amends thing? Because lots of theaters that showed Macbeth got burned down. They are trying to defeat the spirits of Macbeth that give you bad luck.

I really liked going to the play Macbeth. It was the first time I've seen it live. It was really fun because even though the witches were the scariest things in the world, I got to talk to the witches and I knew them all. One of them had really long claws; one of them cut off somebody's leg; and one of them was the leader of the witches and she cut off a pilot's thumb. They were played by Sara Gorsky, Danny Taylor, and Lily Mojekwu. In the play they are supposed to have blood running from their mouths when they ate Banquo's soul. I went to this rehearsal because it was a not-blood day.

Matt Kahler played Banquo. Banquo was friends with Macbeth but Macbeth didn't like him after all because he asked somebody to kill him. When he was a ghost he was good at being a ghost because his eyes were half-open and half-shut. When they ate his soul he woke up, and I think he was supposed to be really bloody in the show because they had to tear apart some of his body to get to the soul. Macbeth (John Mossman) said to Banquo "Don't shake your bloody locks at me."

Banquo's son Fleance was played by Brittany Burch. I thought she did a good job dying playing Young Seward. She also played Lady Macduff who was one of my favorite characters. I like dramatic characters. When her son died that was really dramatic. In the scene where Lady MacDuff's son died they took the baby and the children off stage to be killed because the son was played by a girl who was actually a grown-up, Sara Gorsky. Then it would be scary to see real children and a baby be killed. But they are not actually killed--but it would be horrifying to see your child play a character who got killed by two murderers.

I like death scenes, so I liked when Duncan dies. It's alliterative: Duncan dies! You have to imagine that Duncan (Noah Simon) is laying in a beautiful chamber with his two helpers; they kill Duncan offstage. So you have to imagine that Macbeth comes with a dagger, stabs Duncan with a dagger, comes out with two bloody daggers. This is what you can see: Lady Macbeth (Elizabeth Laidlaw) tells him to go back in and put the dagger on Duncan's chest, smear blood on Duncan's face so it looks like the helpers killed him. Then Monsieur Noah the Porter was played by Noah. And he is letting in spirits, and I was a spirit: I was an English tailor. It is kind of weird that Noah was dead like for a second and then one second later he was telling a joke. He was letting in a farmer that killed himself and a tailor that stole from his boss (me). It was funny because he is letting in dead people that actually he shouldn't be letting in. He shouldn't let them in because one of them could commit suicide in front of him and the other one could steal from him.

The final battle: Young Seward dies in that and he is on the good side. And also Macbeth dies. And he's on the bad side. He thinks he cannot be killed because the witches had played a trick on him which is no one can kill him except someone who is born by a c-section. He thinks nobody can kill him. When the people dressed up like trees and bushes of woods, then he thought that the woods were coming closer and that was one of the witches' prophecies that he would die. And when they were coming closer, he hadn't realized that he could be killed by somebody that had been born by c-section. He finds out that he can be killed by Macduff (Jeff Christian) when he gets killed by Macduff. I think you are curious about if Macbeth is ever going to die and then bam! he's dead. I liked the scene where Macbeth dies. I think there was very good fight choreography because it actually felt like you were in a room where somebody was going to be killed in about five seconds.

Lady Macbeth was in the last scene of the play even though she died. She looked so creepy, and she looked so much like a zombie. I thought that was kind of cool. It was like she married one of the witches. In the first scene that you see Lady Macbeth, she looks sweet and kind, but in the next scene when she is trying to get Macbeth to kill the king she was really pushy and mean and evil. I think she was going to have a baby once but it didn't work out. Macbeth just wants to stay like a Duke, but Lady Macbeth wants to be more royal. Macbeth is a kind and honorable man, but then he turns evil and terrible and wants more power. They each want more power because of who they are married to. She wants more power because of her husband, and he wants more power because of his wife. The moral of this story is "don't marry somebody who wants more power."

I think Macbeth is a great play. In the exact first scene with the witches I thought aaah! it is really happening, but then I was like, even though people are being murdered, I know it is just a play. I think you should see a play of Macbeth because it is now one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

A Midsummer Night's Dream used to be one of my favorite plays because it was funny and it had fairies in it. It is still one of my favorite plays, but not my favorite favorite of all favorites because now I am older and like plays with murders and stuff that is scary. I am not as big a fan of comedy as I am now of drama.

The lovers were Helena, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius. They were played by Sara Gorsky, Brittany Burch, Shane Kenyon, and Josh Zagoren. I think Demetrius wants to marry Hermia because she's rich. Hermia, she wants to marry Lysander. It is a love triangle. It actually does make a triangle! (See photo: it means love triangle but with superheroes.)
If there are two girls that love one boy or two boys that love one girl that is a love triangle. And there can also be a gay love triangle: boy boy boy or girl girl girl. Or boy girl boy or girl boy girl. When Helena shows up, then the two boys fall in love with a different girl. It is still a love triangle, but with a completely different girl. The funny part was when the two boys, Lysander and Demetrius, were exercising in front of Helena because they were exercising while she was fighting with Hermia. Maybe they thought it would impress her if one of them was stronger or musclier. But people aren't going for muscliest; they are going for smartest. It isn't a love triangle at the end. They each get a girl, but one of them used to not love the other one. Puck was freezing them when they were kissing, and it was a long time that they had to be kissing. They couldn't move. I found that weird. When they were paused, Puck did it and the fairies walked through and they talked and stuff and then it was over.

The fairies were Titania, Oberon, Puck, and the first fairy. Titania was played by Lily Mojekwu. Oberon was played by Matt Kahler. Puck was played by Danny Taylor. The first fairy was played by Elizabeth Dowling. I loved the first fairy--I think for someone for Puck to be in love with--that is a good add. In the last scene Titania and Oberon have fallen back in love, but I think she shouldn't marry Oberon because I think he is a mean fairy because he wants to steal from his wife. I wish that there were more about the changeling boy--like you could see him. I just think if she cared about him so much, she would be with him the whole time. The people in the show couldn't handle a changeling boy because the baby might have cried backstage. And then the baby in Macbeth--which was just a big blanket--wouldn't seem real. Puck was kind of the main fairy in this, and I really liked this actor--even though he was creepy in Macbeth. His performance was good because Puck when he went to go get the flower he actually did it in two minutes instead of 40 minutes. It actually only took 2 minutes to fly around the earth. And that is a world record. Go, Puck! Go, Puck!

There are these people that are in a play and then they put on a terrible play which is hilarious. It is so funny. These people are Snout the tinker (Elizabeth Dowling), Flute the bellows mender (John Mossman: oh my gosh he played Macbeth and Theseus. Oh my gosh. Someone was in a play at their own wedding! Flute was so terrible at Thisby and then the person who played Flute played Macbeth, and he was double amazing!), Bottom the weaver (Noah Simon), Snug the joiner (Jeff Christian), Starveling the tailor (Elizabeth Laidlaw), and the director's name is Petra Quince (Christy Arington). They call her Petra instead of Peter because she is a girl and she's playing a girl character that in another version of the play is a boy. They are not actors. They just got hired to be in a play. And that is why they are so bad! They are not actually actors! When Flute and Bottom kissed they went "eeew" after, so it didn't really seem real.

There's another love triangle! Snout the tinker and the director were both in love with Bottom. I don't know why. Bottom the character is supposed to be kind of weird and he is very bad at his job as an actor. And he turned into a monster. But Noah, the actor, is not at all like that. He is amazing at his job as an actor. Titania falls in love with Bottom because of a flower. And it was a love circle, then, because Titania was also in love with Oberon and there are three girls that like one boy, Bottom.

I would recommend Macbeth for ages 10 and up, but I am a very brave 7 year old. I would recommend A Midsummer Night's Dream for ages 3 and up. Lakeside Shakespeare is a very good company because it is really fun if you are going to a picnic and somebody else wants to go to a play, you can go to a picnic play. People that like Shakespeare, murder, comedy, and fairies and witches would like these plays.

As I am an honest Ada,
Give me your eyes if we be friends
And Ada will review again.