BWW Review: THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE at Kate Goldman Children's Theatre-Des Moines Playhouse-A Miraculous Journey
Journeys take us to all sorts of amazing places. Some come in big sizes and are meant to be fun. Others come in the small size of a toy bunny made of china. "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane", takes audiences on an amazing journey with a toy bunny made of china, on a journey where he learns the true meaning of love. Why is his journey miraculous? Well that is something you will have to go to the Kate Goldman's Children's Theatre at Des Moines Playhouse to find out.
One of the most miraculous parts of this amazing production was the inventive staging director Jodi Jinks has been able to provide on her first outing with the Des Moines Playhouse. She truly understood the power the imagination can have. With a minimal, but beautiful set, and purposeful moving of set, she was able to transport the audience to each place the rabbit went to.
To me, one of my favorite moments in the show, was the moment that Edward Tulane is accidently thrown overboard on a ship and goes to the bottom of the ocean. While a few of the kids in the audience laughed, I found the moment to be charming. I appreciated having the actors go into slow motion and then seeing another rabbit fly down to the stage in a flood of blue light.
The part of the script I enjoyed the most, was the use of 4 actors to play all the roles in the show. Like every show, each actor has their strengths. The actor who stood out most to me was Maggie Schmitt, who was listed in the program as women. I appreciated how she inhabited each of the characters she played. She was able to bring the youthfulness of a child, the playful energy of a dog, the suffering of a sick child, as well as other characters. Her transition into each character from scene to scene was flawless, and her choices for each character were distinctive and fun to watch. Craig Petersen as the musician did a great job of also bringing Edward Tulane, the China bunny to life. I found myself looking forward to seeing what Edward Tulane has to say about each group of people he found himself with on his journey. Laura Sparks did a great job of grabbing everyone's attention as she narrated the journey. The only actor that didn't work for me was Oliver Thrun. I think that his over the top style of acting was good for the kids, but I don't think it will translate well for adults.
The questions you are probably asking right now, is this a journey I would want to go on or take my kids to. And that answer is yes. If you don't have tickets for this journey it's not to late. "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" continues at the Des Moines Playhouse through January 20. The play runs 1 hour and 40 minutes with a 15 minute intermission. Tickets are $19 for students and $23 for adults. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.dmplayhouse.com, visiting the Des Moines Playhouse ticket office, or by calling (515) 277-6261.
Photo by Steve Gibbons