Sunday, November 9, 2014

Review of The BFG at Emerald City Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The BFG. It was adapted by David Wood and based on the book by Roald Dahl. It was directed by Morgan Ashley Madison. It was about a girl named Sophie (Bella Coelho) who was in an orphanage and a Big Friendly Giant (Aram Monisoff) who was blowing dreams into little childers' houses picked her up because she had seen him and took her back to his cave. Then there were other giants in Giant Country too, but they were not nice, and then Sophie and the BFG decide they have to go save the children the giants were eating. So they went to the Queen of England (Judy Knudtson) and they got the Head of the Airforce (John Keating) and the Head of the Army (Jeff Meyer) to take down the giants. It is about friendship, giants, and dreams. I loved the book a lot. I thought this play was great because it was pretty true to the story and the puppets (by Rough House Theatre) were very cool.

I thought it was cool they had puppets because that made it seem like Sophie and the Queen were both smaller than the BFG, but they didn't have to get like elves to play those characters. When the Queen and Sophie were on the stage by themselves, the actors played them in costumes without puppets. The BFG was sometimes a giant puppet when he was with the Queen and Sophie as actors. And then when he was a regular person he was with the small Sophie and Queen puppets. Because he was a runt, he was a smaller puppet when he was with the giants who were actors without puppets. I thought that was a great way to express how tall everyone was. It would have been a little bit weird if they were all just their regular sizes because this story is about size, about giants who are bigger human beans. (Did I just say human beans? I'm talking like the BFG!) I thought the design of the puppets was really awesome because it wasn't just regular puppets like hand puppets. They were kind of realistic but not too realistic.

There were segments where the BFG was showing Sophie different dreams. There was one dream where there was a girl named Rebecca(Katie Gonring)and she was at school and she started making the teacher (Knudston) dance and then the principal (Gil Tanner) came in and she made him dance and everyone was dancing to "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift. And I thought that was really cool and funny. The next dream started out with a little boy (Keating) and he was doing his homework, and his dad (Meyer) came out in a pink bathrobe and then he said there is someone who wants to speak to you: The President of the United States. These two dreams, neither of them are trogglethumpers; they were both golden phizzwizards which are really good dreams. Trogglethumpers are really bad dreams. I understand the BFG's language perfectly. The kids wake up to either their mom or their dad yelling, "Get up, you lazy kid!" That shows you that some kids don't have very good parents and that the BFG is giving them a good time while they can.

I had a few little problems because I am such a big BFG and Roald Dahl fan. And being such a big fan, I noticed a few things that weren't exactly right. A snozzcumber is supposed to be a black and white striped cucumber with warts, but it was a purple cucumber with warts. And Sophie was supposed to ride in the BFG's ear, but they had her ride on his head. I measured with my eyes, and I think his ears were big enough to fit the tiny Sophie who was in the Snozzcumber. And next, in the book they said there had never been a single woman giant. And there were two in this, and I liked the idea of letting women play the giants, but I think it would have been more true to the book if they had made them look like boys. And also, in the dream, Dahl doesnt't have the teacher dance, he has the teacher sleep. But I can understand why they decided not to do that because it is way more interesting to watch a teacher dance than to watch a teacher fall asleep. There are two more but they both have to do with the same thing. They switched about where the BFG gives the trogglethumper to the giants. And then after he's had the horrible dream he goes to take Sophie away and tried to eat her, but that never happens. The giants actually do eat people after they are captured, but those are just the drunks. These didn't ruin the show for me. I actually loved the show!

My favorite scenes were the ones with the BFG, The Queen, Sophie, the maid Mary (Mara Dale), the other servant (Trequon Tate), and the butler Mr. Tibbs (Tanner). I really liked it how they made the banquet table by just using a bunch of boxes and basically a window curtain. I really liked the food; I found it funny how all they had were treats and vegetables. I also thought the maid and the servant were really funny because they both started dancing and then whenever Mr. Tibbs looked over he would have this serious expression. And then they would stop. Then they would go back to it. Then they would stop. Then once they all finally sat down this giant head of the BFG would come up and talk about everything possible. He seemed to really like the topic of whizzpopping, but the queen didn't know what that was and said, if he wants to play me some music, I'd really like to hear it. But then Sophie said of course you don't really want to hear this music. Whizzpopping, it is pretty obvious what it actually is; it is just farts. So, he did it anyway and queen said, I like the bagpipes better. And I remember that from the book and I absolutely loved it. I thought the queen was amazing. Her performance was regal but not too regal that the queen seemed snotty. I thought she played the role with great astire. If you want to know what astire means, you can learn it from me, ADA GREY! Astire is a made-up word that I just made up that means with great confidence and elegance.

People who would like this show are people who like queens, whizzpopping, and Taylor Swift. I think people should definitely go see this show because it is super fun, pretty true to the book, and the actors are great. This is one of my favorite shows that I've ever seen at Emerald City because it treated its audience like they knew there were children out there, but they trusted them to understand the play. I think you should go see the show with a friend. I had a lot of fun with my friend Lana!

Photos: Johnny Knight

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