BWW Review: Adorably Interactive WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE at Seattle Children's Theatre

Benjamin McFadden as Max in
Where the Wild Things Are at SCT
Photo credit: Chris Bennion

Most of us fell in love with Maurice Sendak's enchanting book "Where the Wild Things Are" when we were kids and still kids today all know of the tale of Max's journey to the island of the Wild Things. But how many kids actually get to join in on the Wild Rumpus? Well now kids in Seattle can with the award-winning, internationally acclaimed production from Vancouver's Presentation House Theatre performing at Seattle Children's Theatre. This highly interactive stage production actually makes Wild Things out of your kids (more than they already are) and takes them on a magical journey that is just as amazing for the adults as it is for the kids.

In case you may need a refresher on the story, it's the story of young Max who's been a bit too wild all day for his Mother to bear, running around in his wolf costume and causing chaos. So eventually he's sent to his room and while there his room transforms into a jungle and he takes a magical boat to the land of the Wild Things where the inhabitants make him their king.

Presentation House Theatre brought their own cast down with them but now a Seattle cast has taken over with Benjamin McFadden as Max and on the afternoon I saw it, Tracy Hyland as Mom/Narrator. "But what about the Wild Things?" you may ask. Well, the Wild Things on the Island are all played by the kids in the audience seated on various islands around the stage not to mention us bigger kids (who can sit in chairs or benches behind the kids if we prefer). The narrator gives us all lessons on how to be real Wild Things who understand when to roar and scare and when to freeze and be quiet. It's a truly ingenious staging as the kids and adults are brought into Max's world and given tasks throughout the show to create this fantastical world.

McFadden is absolutely adorable as the wild Max as he leaps and runs all around the stage and audience to tell this story. And kudos for engaging the big people as much as he did with jokes and asides, many of which flew over the kids' heads (loved the Flock of Seagulls reference). And Hyland's engaging narrator beautifully and adeptly brought the kids in and made a wonderful game out of being a part of the show but still focused on the story.

I just cannot stress how much you need to bring your kids to check out this one (or be the weird adults in the audience like my friend and I were). It's a truly magical and joyfully wild time which is why with my three letter rating system I give "Where the Wild Things Are" a roaring YAY! So pay a visit to the Island of the Wild Things but not to worry, you'll be home by dinner.

"Where the Wild Things Are" performs at Seattle Children's Theatre through February 28th. For tickets or information contact the Seattle Children's Theatre box office at 206-441-3322 or visit them online at www.sct.org.



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From This Author Jay Irwin