Riverwalk Theatre and Fairy Dust Theatre present a fun children’s show with elements of nostalgia for the adults. Miss those past kids programs you loved? Want to show your children or grandchildren what those shows were like? Well, Kellie Stonebrook and Bruce Bennett have concocted a play that is very reminiscent of those shows.
It’s live theater that puts you in the studio audience of a children’s TV show from the 1960s with features of Shari Lewis and Lambchop, Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, and local shows like Al E. Khatt (from WJIM, now WLNS), The Land of Play (WKAR), and Soupy Sales (WXYZ, Detroit).
After each of the Saturday performances will be a 1-hour workshop for kids, “Making Your Puppet Come to Life.” Kids can make their own paper bag puppets with simple materials provided, and practice puppetry with Princess Lucy herself.
Princess Lucy is Kellie Stonebrook, local actress and excellent ventriloquist. Kellie and her “Fairy Dust Theatre” are booked all over Michigan to perform with her puppets at schools, libraries and day-care facilities. She attends the annual international ventriloquists’ convention and has taken classes from Jeff Dunham and other famous ventriloquists.
Writer/director Bruce Bennett also performs some puppetry. This is the third children’s show he’s authored to be performed at Riverwalk. A commercial artist, Bruce also has acted or directed at most of Lansing’s theaters, including the defunct BoarsHead and Stormfield, and the thriving Williamston Theatre. He’s also acted in movies, including a nice speaking role in “Machine Gun Preacher” which starred Gerard Butler.
The idea for the show came from Bruce’s fond memories of attending broadcasts of Bozo and Al E. Khatt at WJIM as a child, and working years later with Howard Lancour, local TV kid show host, in advertising and community theater. “Howard had wonderful stories of those days,” says Bennett. Bruce is also in touch with a group of local TV station employees from the old days who get together once a month at a local restaurant.
“Princess Lucy” performs in Riverwalk's Black Box June 21-22, 28-29 at 7pm Fridays, and at 12:30 and 4:30 Saturdays. Tickets are $6. Call the Box Office at 517-482-5700 for reservations. (Tickets can be reserved on the web for $7 www.riverwalktheatre.com)