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BWW Review: FAIRY TALES IN THE SUN at Adventure Theatre MTC

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The production features two one-act plays, The Future in the Flood, written by Lyra Yang, and From Cinders to Ella, written by Michelle Lynch.

Adventure Theatre MTC presents their first in-person show of the season, Fairy Tales in the Sun, directed by Stan Kang. The production features two one-act plays, The Future in the Flood, written by Lyra Yang, and From Cinders to Ella, written by Michelle Lynch.

BWW Review: FAIRY TALES IN THE SUN at Adventure Theatre MTC
Father (Dylan Arrendondo) and Jing-Jing (Alex De Bard) work on water filters together in The Future in the Flood. Photo courtesy of Adventure Theatre MTC.

The Future in the Flood weaves elements of Chinese folklore with a modern tale. In this play, we meet Jing-Jing (Alex De Bard), a bright young lady interested in engineering and the environment. Jing-Jing's father (Dylan Arrendondo) is a single dad just trying to keep his business afloat while spending time with his daughter as much as he can. While visiting her town's polluted river, Jing-Jing meets Nü Wa, a Chinese goddess (Zoe Elene Bernabe) who single handedly stopped the last Great Flood. Nü Wa wants Jing-Jing to "give up her youth" and save the world.

BWW Review: FAIRY TALES IN THE SUN at Adventure Theatre MTC
Ella (Jasmine Proctor) gets ready for the ball with help from her Fairy Godmother (Rebecca Ballinger)
in From Cinders to Ella. Photo courtesy of Adventure Theatre MTC.

This play makes it easy for kids to cause and effect in relation to water pollution. The big lesson of this fairytale (a great lesson for adults and kids) is that together we can make a difference. Jing-Jing doesn't fight for change by herself as she has the support of her father and Nü Wa. The play also teaches a bit of Chinese language along with the folklore. Some dialogue is often a mix of Chinese and English, and the beginning hints at the Chinese flood mythology.

BWW Review: FAIRY TALES IN THE SUN at Adventure Theatre MTC
Zoe Elene Bernabe as Nü Wa in The Future in the Flood. Photo courtesy of Adventure Theatre MTC.

From Cinders to Ella is a Cinderella with a slight French twist. Ella (Jasmine Proctor) lives with her stepmother (Alex Reeves) and her stepsister (Alex De Bard). The prince's ball is coming, and Ella is eager to dance the night away. The night isn't off to a great start; she gets in a fight with her step sister and ruins her stepmom's velvet ribbon. Regardless, she decides to go to the ball anyway. She summons her goofy fairy godmother (Rebecca Ballinger) to help her get ready for the ball. Of course, the ball doesn't go as planned, and Ella quickly learns that family is more important than magic.

BWW Review: FAIRY TALES IN THE SUN at Adventure Theatre MTC
Alex Reeves as the Stepmother in From Cinders to Ella. Photo courtesy of Adventure Theatre MTC.

What makes this Cinderella different from others? Magic doesn't solve all of Ella's problems. In a nice change of pace, the prince isn't even in the picture at all. The stepmom and stepsister aren't as evil as they seem, and the godmother doesn't give Ella everything she wants. The story centers more on family, and that makes it worth a watch.

Despite the challenges of outdoor performances, the cast's energy didn't falter. The physical comedy is abundant and certainly entertaining for the kids. There is even a dance party intermission!

An outdoor performance requires a solid stage, and Patricia Kalil delivers a versatile set design.

If you are looking to take your kids to a summertime show, Fairytales in the Sun is a good choice.

Running Time: 1 hour with no intermission (each play is approximately 30 minutes)

Fairy Tales in the Sun runs from July 10 through September 6, 2021 at Adventure Theatre MTC in Glen Echo Park. Tickets can be purchased here. Be sure to bring chairs or a picnic blanket. Outdoor COVID protocols are in place, so don't forget your mask.


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