Thursday, February 18, 2016

theatre review - PINOCCHIO - Valley Youth Theatre - February 13

photo: Skye Fallon/VYT
Click here for more information on this production that runs through February 21st.

"...Pinocchio, Greg Banks' fairly new theatrical adaptation of Carlo Collodi's story, is a faithful retelling of the story of carpenter Geppetto and the boy he creates out of wood. Banks uses a story-within-a-story structure and plenty of imagination to bring the magical, fun, and heartwarming story to life. Even though there are a few shortcomings in this adaptation, Valley Youth Theatre's production has a talented cast of young performers who instill the story with humor and heart. ...Banks takes a group of painters, who are in the theatre getting ready to paint it for an upcoming production, and turns them into storytellers who portray the characters in Collodi's children's novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio." They use the materials, equipment, and supplies they have on hand to paint the theatre to recreate the famous scenes and moments in this tale of a wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy....the show does take a few extra beats to get going and also lags in points. There are also numerous moments of audience interaction that prolong the story and are repetitive. ...most younger audience members are sure to enjoy the creative touches the play and this production use to tell this beloved story. Even with the few quibbles, it is charming and funny, and the ending is moving and heartwarming....As Pinocchio, Corey Hawk does well as an obnoxious, rambunctious, and somewhat ungrateful boy. Yet, after Pinocchio takes the wrong path, Hawk effectively shows us how Pinocchio has learned his lesson and makes an optimistic change in his look on life. Taylor Davis is sturdy and strong as Gepetto. The fact that Davis is a woman adds another layer to the portrayal and shows that it doesn't matter what gender (or even age) one is—anyone can tell a story if they know what they are doing. ...Valley Youth Theatre's Pinocchio uses everyday items and a small talented ensemble to create stage magic. While I have a few reservations about this adaptation, VYT's production proves to be a fun and upbeat exercise in the power of imagination in storytelling." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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