Raleigh Little Theatre’s Pinocchio, directed by Linda O’Day Young, is pretty much everything you could want in a children’s play. Featuring big, bright, funny acting, akin to what you’d see in a Disney movie, and a quirky humor that appeals to kids of all ages, this play is a great one for the young in age and the young at heart.
Running along a fast-moving story-line, Pinocchio tells the classic story of a puppet who yearns to be a “real boy” (Parker Perry) and his journey from selfishness and rebellion to his ultimate realization of what is most important in life: love and family.
As the title character, Perry is all fitted out in an impressive costume, designed by Jenny Mitchell. The costume (don’t tell the kids!) features the puppet “get-up” underneath regular, black clothing, allowing “Pinocchio” to move freely,while still keeping up his puppet appearance.
As the young puppet makes mischief all over town and accidentally travels far way from home, he is joined by a cast of colorful (and talented) characters, including Phil Lewis as the kindly (and at times, slightly sardonic) Gepetto, Cassidy McCardle as the lovely and lovely-voiced Blue Fairy, and adorable little Marleigh Purgar-McDonald as a mouse/semi-narrator. Purgar-McDonald, last seen in the vastly underrated Kindertransport at Burning Coal, proves a true genius at her craft, milking her sadly minimal stage time and never, ever breaking character.
Featuring simplistic but cute choreography, Pinocchio stays true to its kid-friendly dynamic, and, as is often the case when RLT does fairy tales, still manages to bring to light new and interesting analytical points about this well-known story. While the adults muse over the symbolism of Pinocchio and crew turning into donkeys and on the journey we all take toward “being a real boy,” the kids will be giggling at the characters running down the aisles and the crazy costumes, making this a truly family-friendly show in every sense of the term.
Raleigh Little Theatre presents PINOCCHIO at 7:30 p.m. April 25, 1 and 5 p.m. April 26 and 27, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 1, and 1 p.m. May 3 and 4 in its Cantey V. Sutton Theatre, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.
TICKETS: $15 ($10 children 12 and under).
BOX OFFICE: 919-821-3111 or https://raleighlittletheatre.secure.force.com/.
SHOW: http://raleighlittletheatre.org/shows/13-14/pinocchio.html and https://www.facebook.com/events/620451588034805/.
VIDEO PREVIEW (by Rod and Nancy Rich): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3JpWMAUtHc.
PRESENTER: http://www.raleighlittletheatre.org/, https://www.facebook.com/RaleighLittleTheatre, and https://twitter.com/RLT1936.
NOTE: All shows are wheelchair accessible, and assistive-listening devices are available for all shows.
The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883 illustrated children’s novel): http://www.pinocchio.it/?lang=en (Carlo Collodi National Foundation) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Pinocchio (Wikipedia).
Carlo Collodi (nee Carlo Lorenzini, Italian novelist, 1826-90): (Wikipedia).
Enrico Mazzanti (Italian illustrator, 1850-1910): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_Mazzanti (Wikipedia)
Pinocchio (1991 musical): http://www.dramaticpublishing.com/p2518/Pinocchio-%28musical%29-%28Wengrow%29/product_info.html (Dramatic Publishing).
Linda O’Day Young (director and RLT‘s youth theater and education director): https://www.facebook.com/linda.young.31945243 (Facebook page).
Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.