BWW Review: HYRONOMOUS A. FROG, THE FROG PRINCE at Silly On Sixth - Hudson Theatre Ensemble
Silly on Sixth Children's theater at the Hudson Theater Ensemble in Hoboken present's Edith Weiss' Hyronomous A. Frog,The Frog Prince this weekend and next.
Hyronomous, a smart lonely frog, lives in a bog in the kingdom of Spamelot. Hyronomous is bored and unhappy as a frog, especially hating the taste of flies. The good witch Gloria (an assured Florence Pape) appears to tell him he was once a human prince and it was a spell that turned him into an amphibian. To break this croak-filled wizardry, Hyronomous must be kissed by a maiden. Will Hyronomous get his kiss? Will Gladiola and Prince Lancelot Pantsalot marry? Will the children learn valuable lessons and giggle hysterically? Assuredly so.
Under the ever deft direction of Howard Richman who doubles as Lancelot's page Arthur, the production doesn't get too bogged (sorry) down for too long in Weiss' exposition. He keeps things light with a well cast production who ooze chemistry which is essential in keeping the play moving along. Laura DiCerto charms as Queen Bea casting off asides about losing her head and punning her way around Hyronomous true name.
Dave Silberger as the Frog is also charming. He easily handles the physical nature of the role while bringing character, curiosity, and sweetness to the key role. Christina O'Handley's Gladiola is perfectly turned off to the upstart Frog especially as he pulls focus from her vanity.
Richman and David Plotka (Lancelot) make a daffy duo especially with Lancelot's eagerness to take up swords. Nannette M. Matos is a fine Delphinium easily winning the hearts of the Frog and audience. Richman makes inventive use of the intimate Hudson School stage. Matos and Silberger shine in a creatively staged, pert production.
Weiss is fond of rhyming which works in a Seussian way to lead kids into the story. But she does get in an awful lot of unnecessary back story and plot which tempers down the proceedings. Luckily Richman's cast is quick with a song, smile, and lessons along the lines of:
- a promise is a promise
- everyone is special
- fighting doesn't solve problems
- use your brain
Hoboken is lucky to have a devoted theater presenting fairy tales with wit for young audiences. Adults this is a perfectly timed (for many reasons - political, seasonal, ethical, and length) confection that will entertain tots and parents without straining the pocketbook or watches. This is adroit entertainment. The show runs through next weekend. Tickets and showtimes at hudsontheatreensemble.com