BWW Reviews: Pumpkin Theatre Presents a Lush PRINCESS & THE PEA
If you want to take your little ones to a rich, engaging theater experience this weekend, then Pumpkin Theater in Owings Mills is the place to go. Featuring the classic, The Princess & The Pea, the performance is engaging for children and adults. The first thing that captures your attention is the lush costumes that the characters wear. King Olaf, played wonderfully by Larry Levinson, and Queen Ulrika, played regally by Kay-Megan Washington, are attired in rich, royal bolts of cloth that absolutely transport you into the story's place and time. Gustaf, the troll, played enthusiastically by Holly Gibbs, is green from head to toe and looks like a small version of the Jolly Green Giant. Kudos to costume designer Wil E. Crowther who seems to have an eye for fabric and draping that adds so much to this production.
In addition to the familiar fairytale story, Director B. Thomas Rinaldi added some unique touches that add depth to this production. As King Olaf and Queen Ulrika take their place in their palace room at the very opening of the performance, they enter with court attendants all singing a beautifully haunting madrigal song. With the flowing costumes and period song, I thought I was attending a Shakespeare production instead of a child's fairytale. After that, before anyone spoke, a magician appears to perform a magic act on Prince Eric, played by Derek Cooper. Magic tricks remain a running theme throughout the performance. It's a wonderful combination of song, story and magic tricks, and one that kept the kids enthralled throughout the one-hour show. Let's face it, sometimes childrens' theater is mostly about crying, wiggling, and the comings and goings of children. Not at Pumpkin Theater. They seem to have the formula for keeping children engaged from opening to closing curtain. It's a gift worth sharing with any little people in your life.
Pumpkin Theater is operating out of its new home at 2905 Walnut Avenue in Owings Mills. Tickets can be bought at the door and all performances are at 1 pm and 3 pm. An arts and crafts room is available from noon - 4:00 pm and cost $5 per child if you want to make a full day out of it. Visit www.pumpkin theatre.org if you want to check out their 2014 performance schedule.