Fairy Tale Theatre: 18 and Over: Lessons From Puppets for Adults
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The last date listed for Fairy Tale Theatre: 18 and Over was Saturday February 11, 2012 / 8:00pm.
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When the Independent Shakespeare Company put on their first Free Shakespeare Festival in 2004, it… More
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Featured review from Jon G.
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There I was, a 6-foot-1 mound of a man, reduced to a blubbering, sobbing blob, patiently waiting for Up to begin at a movie theatre, watching Disney Pixar's Partly Cloudy.
I was touched by how these comedic and cinematic geniuses could tap into the simple art of storytelling. Forget the graphics and the music and the animation - this was, at its most basic form, a story for children about where rain comes from. I was 26 years old, and I imagined I was five, staring up at that massive screen and figuring out for the first time. What a beautiful, simple, perfect way to explain weather to a child. I was crying like the cloud on that very screen.
And there I was on Friday night, surrounded by people filling the Matrix Theatre with laughter, crying about clouds again. What the hell is it about me and clouds? I don't get it. But whatever. There I was, again a mess.
Because here was J. Michael Feldman's "Fairy Tale Theatre: 18 and Over," and again I was watching absolute perfect storytelling. Forget the comedy that had me choking back tears for almost two hours.
Again, I was touched by how a creative mind can so easily convey "where rain comes from," only for adults. Yes, there were humping clouds and erotic lightning bolts, but there was so much more.
There were great performances from every cast member, and I challenge you to go to the show twice - once to watch the puppets that are absolutely hilarious and very well-made, and once to watch the actors themselves. I could not take my eyes off the actors behind the puppets, so next time I'll try to stick to who's on their hands. But Feldman, puppeteers Jess McKay, Matt Cook and Tina Huang and featured performers Courtney Pauroso and Eileen Mullane were too good not to just stare at the entire time. Each steals a scene in his or her own way; Feldman for his command of the entire performance as narrator and star; McKay for his puppetry skills and range of emotion; Cook for his delivery and timing; Huang for her character acting and mimickry; Pauroso for her emotiveness and likeability; and Mullane, who absolutely kills as a monkey-dog-owner-turned-new-mother (seriously, her "monkey" walk was the funniest quirk I've ever seen).
Ultimately, though, Feldman's talent shines brightest, as the storytelling is supreme. I went into the show expecting to laugh. I've seen most of the performers before, and they're all fantastic. That was not a surprise. I did not expect to be so impressed by the stories, and the creativity went into them.
Only next time, please no clouds. I can't take it.