Review: DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL at Magik Theatre

The production runs from Feb. 10-March 17

By: Feb. 13, 2024
Review: DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL at Magik Theatre
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Maybe a Saturday night date night wouldn’t normally involve a live production based on a children’s picture book. Or an auditorium filled with kids interacting with puppets, but that’s exactly how my husband and I spent our date night on the opening night of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical at Magik Theatre in San Antonio.

Review: DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL at Magik Theatre

The experience began when we walked up to their fun community event in the park right outside the doors where they had a food truck, balloons, and music. Once we stepped inside, we saw that the theatre’s education team provided activities for kids that were related to and helped teach the themes of the show.

The electric atmosphere immediately put smiles on our faces, and we knew we were about to witness something special.

Based on the Caldecott Honor-winning picture book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, acclaimed playwrights Mo Willems and Mr. Warburton created a musical adaptation that exploded with heart and worked perfectly for the stage. The story surrounded a spirited pigeon who wanted to drive a bus, a bus driver who wouldn't let him, and a whole ensemble of enthusiastic characters who tried to help. Through the pigeon’s attempts to convince everyone he should drive, he learned some valuable lessons that helped him celebrate his own special qualities and skills--things that made him uniquely amazing! Lessons the audience, both children and adults alike, came to reflect upon during the opening night of this energetic production! 

Review: DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL at Magik Theatre They animated this story with colorful puppetry, larger-than-life characters, amusing audience interaction, and exciting spectacle! Charlie Smith, who played The Pigeon, drew the audience in immediately with amazing vocal performance, wonderful puppetry work, and a lively character. He and Heather Hooten, who played Bus Driver, created such a fun-loving acting duo who took the audience on a musically adventurous ride! The two of them were joined by an ensemble who played various over-the-top characters and added energy, spectacle, and humor to the story. Amy Bouquet’s performance as Bus Engine was incredibly memorable and creative, and she became an instant audience favorite through her various character portrayals. I can guarantee that the adults in the audience had as much fun as the kids and maybe learned some things as well, as what we all witnessed was a perfectly polished, professional production, beautifully brought together under the direction of Artistic Director, Anthony Runfola.

During a brief conversation with Melissa Zarb-Cousin, Magik’s Managing Director, she excitedly explained how she “loved watching the kids’ faces during the production. It was her favorite thing.” That passion and love for how theatre can inspire creativity, imagination, and self-discovery flowed freely during our perfect date night to Magik Theatre, and we continued to talk about and think about the production through the rest of our evening. I would encourage people of all ages to get out and experience Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical, as it runs through March 17. 

You could also check out some of their special performances:

Sunday, February 11 at 3 pm~Educator Appreciation Day

Saturday, February 17 at 2 pm~Military Appreciation Day

Saturday, February 24 at 10 am~Sensory-friendly performance

Sunday, February 25 at 3 pm~Pay what you wish

Saturday, March 9 at 2 pm~ASL interpreted performance 

Sunday, March 17 at 3 pm~Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Whichever day you choose to go, this is a show you will not want to miss! 


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