BWW Reviews: Zach Theatre Breathes New Life into PINOCCHIO

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BWW Reviews: Zach Theatre Breathes New Life into PINOCCHIO

We all know the story of Pinocchio, the world's most famous puppet, and his creator/father, Geppetto. Still, there's something exciting in seeing a familiar story told in a new, different, or unexpected way. Inspired storytelling is what makes Pinocchio, now playing at Zach Theatre, so special. This may be a show marketed towards kids, but it's sure to entertain adults as well.

Despite the play's brief 50 minute running time, playwright Andrew Windler manages to include some of the most memorable bits of the Pinocchio stories. Drawing from Carlo Collodi's original stories rather than the more well-known Disney version, Windler's version includes many of the story's most beloved characters, including Stromboli, the fox, and the cricket.

Windler's decision to focus his story on Geppetto is somewhat unexpected, but it's a brilliant move. All of the action takes place in Geppetto's workshop, and all of Pinocchio's adventures spring forth from Geppetto's imagination. The decision allows for some clever storytelling but also lets Windler go deeper into Geppetto's loneliness, something mentioned in the book and in the Disney film but never explored to this degree.

Rommel Sulit gives Geppetto a spirited, exuberant, almost child-like energy. Sulit and fellow performer/puppeteer Sam Gorena explore every inch of Chris Yoo's detailed workshop set, pulling puppets out of drawers and chests to create Pinocchio's world. The puppets, designed by Lucie Cunningham, all look like they've been handmade by Geppetto himself, and Eric Fleming's lighting and Aaron Ward's musical score add tremendously to the whimsical atmosphere.

Running time: 50 minutes, no intermission.

PINOCCHIO plays The Whisenhunt Stage at ZACH THEATRE, located at 202 South Lamar, now thru May 31st. Performances are Saturdays at 11am and 2pm and Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets are $14-$16. For tickets and information, please visit www.zachtheatre.org

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