BWW Review: KNUFFLE BUNNY Spins a Great Tale at Adventure Theatre MTC
Every child has that one stuffed animal that they can't live without. Every parent knows the dilemma of what happens when the toy goes missing and the tantrum that follows. In the opening of Adventure Theatre - MTC's 65th season, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical perfectly describes every parent's worst nightmare: the missing beloved toy.
Based on Mo Willems series of books, the musical by Willems and composer Michael Silversher, the tune-filled adventure is beautifully crafted by director Nick Olcott. Mr. Olcott's spirited direction keeps the action moving and transitions seamlessly through Douglas Clarke's "Sesame Street" inspired set. In addition to the clever set, prop and puppet designer, Andrea "Dre" Moore brings her usual perfection to the other visual elements, including a cameo from Pigeon, another popular book by Mo Willems.
The five person cast works extremely well together. At the center of the story, toddler, Trixie, who hasn't quite mastered words yet is embodied by the very talented Suzanne Lane. Ms. Lane shines on Trixie's sorrowful lament as she tries to convey her loss for beloved Knuffle Bunny, without being able to verbalize it. Scott Harrison as dad has a great tenor voice and plays the young millennial parent with great energy, particularly when trying to save Knuffle Bunny. Emily Zickler, as mom is also wonderfully cast and has a gorgeous voice, which particularly shines in the opening number. Rounding out the cast are John Sygar and Simone Lewis, who act as ensemble, puppeteers, and laundry in a fun number.
While Knuffle Bunny is geared towards the kids in the audience, playwright Willems gives a few jokes that will keep the parents laughing. Besides opening ATMTC's 65th season, this also marks artistic director Michael Bobbitt 10th anniversary and in these past 10 years, Bobbitt has brought in some of the best talent in the area and hopefully will keep it up for years to come.
Knuffle Bunny plays through October 23, 2016 at Adventure Theatre MTC in Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Boulevard, Glen Echo, MD 20812.
Box Office: (301) 634-2270 or online. Note: It is recommended to call the box office to purchase tickets due to a database conversion.
Photo Credits: Michael Horan