aaugh - should have sent something last night, but real-life distractions related to my 3 "guests" aged 4, 5 and 7 who thoroughly enjoyed Kellie Stonebrook and Bruce Bennett's CHARMING, nostalgic puppet TV show. (fudge... AAAAAAGH! - a new family tradition has begun.) I refer you to Carol Ferris's previous wonderful review at www.greaterlansingtheatre.net, under "reviews". It ends today, 12:30 show and 4:30 show -both followed by paper bag puppet making/using WORKshop, led by Princess Lucy herself. $6 for all ages at the door.
TV Puppet Show nostalgia entertains ALL ages at Riverwalk's Black Box with Kellie Stonebrook and Bruce Bennett!
Thereʼs only one weekend left to see Kellie Stonebrook and Bruce Bennett team up for the charmingly wacky reinvention of a 60ʼs television show for kids. Princess Lucy in the Land of Pretend, playing next Friday and Saturday in Riverwalkʼs Black Box, features Kellie as Princess Lucy, gentle ruler of a magic kingdom of crazy characters that include: Wendall, a dragon who canʼt breathe fire; Kuddles, a slightly paranoid teddy bear; Si, a bi-lingual monkey; and Fairy Godmother Aunt Carmen, who bears a passing resemblance to one of mid-Michiganʼs favorite stage personalities. Kellie is a talented ventriloquist, and her goofy princess is a joy to watch.
Bruce Bennett, who wrote and directed the show, and designed and built the cute castle set, also lends his excellent vocal talents to a “fudge-loving” moose, a melodic cow, a French Chef and a be-bopping frog. Adults in the Saturday afternoon audience were having as much fun as the kids. Anyone whoʼs ever spent time watching Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers or Soupy Sales will get a kick out of Princess Lucy in the Land of Pretend. Adults will recognize and the kids will be fascinated by the real television ads projected on the back wall, showcasing 60ʻs favorites like Rock ʻem, Sock ʻem Robots; Tony the Tiger; Mr. Machine and Tootie Roll Pops. (Thanks to Matt Ottinger.)
This is a sweetly original show with a gentle message and lots of laughs. It runs again on Friday, June 28 at 7 p.m.; and on Saturday, June 29 at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. A one- hour puppet workshop will follow the Saturday shows. (My seven-year-old friend who attended the first Saturday workshop was still playing hours later with the rabbit puppet sheʼd made with Bruce and Kellie.)
(Jane says: I can't WAIT to see this! But I have to wait until the final performance - so THANKS to ace fill-in reviewer, Carol Ferris!)
SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK at LCC's Summer Stage Under the Stars is a big bundle of rockin' energy led by aspiring school teacher Benjamin English. He is inspired and put through some frantic, fun paces by a very talented gang of costume-changing, prop-flinging singer/dancer/actors who really keep up the energy, racing into the crowd, passing out words, playing hide and seek, performing magic... and singing their adverbial hearts out about basic science, grammar and math.
Prince Spann, Rachel Dalton, Racheal Raymer, Brennan Hattaway, and Alexsandria Clift take the major roles and chorus of Emma Callis, Kayla Green, Hattie Inese and Kailey LaGrow keep the crowd revved, all moving to the playful choreography of Karyn Perry.
It's almost all songs, with the excellent John Dale Smith at the keyboard, his son Jonathan on percussion, and Jerry Krause on bass and tuba. Director John Lennox can be proud of this family friendly, nostalgic show that will entertain the whole family. I saw a couple toddlers doing a few disco moves in the audience -- and a few parents mouthing the words...
Two more shows -- 7pm Saturday and 2pm Sunday. Don't miss it!
On a lighter note - but not as light as I expected - we enjoyed the MSU Summer Circle's musical BABY tonight. As the program says, it "explores the despairing lows and comedic highs that accompany the arrival of a baby.” It presents a young, unmarried couple, a 30-something couple that's been "trying" for a long time, and an older couple with kids in college coping with a "bonus pregnancy" in their 40's. Lynn Lammers directed this entertaining show that covers a surprisingly wide range of experiences and reactions relating to pregnancy and babies — and how babies affect the lives/loves/plans/dreams of their parents.
The music was well balanced with the miked singers: Seth Burke as musical director and pianist with three other musicians — and all the voices were fine and expressive, with Eric Miller, Sarah Goeke and Zev Steinberg showcasing particularly stellar voices. Eric Miller and Lydia Hiller were charming as the too-young "not ready" couple coping with their choices, joys, fears and growing up. Zev Steinberg and Sarah Goeke were both wonderful as the "trying" couple demonstrating a solid yet sorely tested marriage. Anne Miranda and Gordon Clarke touchingly demonstrated complex reactions, compromises, identity issues as the older couple facing altered expectations. The "spare" people, playing myriad of fun roles, were Nick Reid and Katie Maggart. (Her strange fertility doctor was hilarious.) Bridgette Bechtel did both the set and costumes, both of which worked well. The set was traditional (ivy covered walls of MSU) yet versatile with movable boxes becoming the bed and any other needed furniture.
This entertaining, touching and thought-provoking musical continues Friday and Saturday at 8 (preceded at 6 pm by the funny family show, "Stop Copying Me")
Read more about Jane and the creation of the G.L.U.T. on the "About G.L.U.T." page.