Monday, February 22, 2016

theatre review - GOODNIGHT MOON - Childsplay - February 20, 2016

Chanel Bragg and Michael Thompson
photo: Tim Trumble

Click here for more information on this production that runs through April 10th.

"In 1947, author Margaret Wise Brown and illustrator Clement Hurd created the simple children's rhyming bedtime story "Goodnight Moon" that features a young rabbit saying "good night" to the various objects he can see from his bed. Chad Henry has taken that simple story and expanded it into a silly, fun, and heartwarming 90-minute musical about a young bunny child who is too restless to sleep. This family-friendly show will charm even the crankiest person and Childsplay's production is a stunning display of colorfully creative designs and features a talented quartet of actors.
...The idea of taking various items mentioned in the book, including things in the pictures on the wall in the book illustrations, and turning them into musical numbers is brilliant. The best of these is when the picture that features bears and chairs brings the bears to life and turns into a tap dancing game of musical chairs. ...While the dozen original musical numbers aren't that memorable they do add to the fun of the show and represent a range of musical styles....Director Anthony Runfola uses a combination of effectively staged, simple storytelling and theatrical razzle dazzle to entertain...Molly Lajoie's choreography utilizes a range of styles, all of which add to the fun of the show. The set elements by Holly Windingstad are awash in technicolor and imagination as are Connie Furr Soloman's costumes, hair, and make-up designs. Lighting designer Tim Monson creates some lovely images of starry skies that slowly turn dark as the play progresses. As the young Bunny, Michael Thompson couldn't be better. He has an appropriate childlike innocence along with the rambunctious energy of a child who can't sit still and is restless and not at all ready to go to sleep. Chanel Bragg is simply lovely as the Old Lady, while Michelle Chin is endearing as a Mouse and Tommy Strawser is a charmer as a Tooth Fairy who does a little soft shoe routine...While Goodnight Moon may be targeted for younger theatergoers, children of all ages will enjoy Childsplay's production of this sweet, magical story of the little restless Bunny and the magical things he experiences as he attempts to go to sleep."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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