BWW Reviews: Imaginary Theatre Company Presents Delightful Production of A PETER RABBIT TALE 3/14
The Imaginary Theatre Company opens the spring season with a cute production of A Peter Rabbit Tale. This is a sassy and entertaining re-working of a childhood favorite that adds a pleasant and catchy score to the familiar story. I brought my wife and son along to attend one of two performances that were scheduled for a drizzly day (March 14, 2010) at Nerinx Hall High School, and judging by the packed house and smiling faces all around, it was definitely a worthwhile experience.
Peter Rabbit is a mischievous little bunny who constantly spars with his older sisters, and displays a consistent disdain for performing his share of the household chores. One day, after an attempted raid on farmer McGregor's vegetable garden goes awry, he decides to run away from home. Along the way he encounters various woodland creatures that he befriends. But efforts to blend in with his surroundings prove futile since Peter doesn't possess the proper tailoring skills to be a mouse, or the ability to live off of a diet of acorns and nuts like a squirrel. A chance encounter with a hedgehog, who doubles as a laundress, gets him back on course, and headed for home.
Amanda Williford does splendid work as Peter, acquitting herself well vocally, and in the way she's able to deftly portray the curious nature of a little boy bunny. Ann Ashby, who's voice is particularly well suited to this kind of material, is also quite good as her sister Flopsy, a mouse, a squirrel, and a hungry cat named Simpkin. Lakeetha Blakeney makes a favorable impression as Peter's mother, Benjamin Bunny, who leads Peter down the wrong path, a squirrel, a mouse and a hedgehog named Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. Chauncey Thomas amuses in his various guises as Mopsy, farmer McGregor, an Owl, a Frog, a mouse, and a tailor.
Kat Singleton's direction is well done, keeping the action moving along at a fairly brisk pace to keep the wee ones engaged. Scott Loebl's changeable scenic design features cleverly painted backdrops that can be rotated to provide different locations. Betsy Krausnick's costumes neatly conjure up the various animals that are required, while still allowing the actors to have freedom of movement and expression.
Beatrix Potter's venerable children's classic "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" has been playfully re-imagined by playwright Sarah Brandt and composer/lyricist Neal Richardson in the Imaginary Theatre Company's charming and delightful presentation of A Peter Rabbit Tale.