So, after that fantastic dinner at Everest, we made our way over to the theatre and took our seats in the front row. What followed was a delightful and imaginative adaptation of a book that doesn’t exactly lend itself well to the stage: it doesn’t have much of a plot; it requires a bunch of different planets, a talking fox and a precocious little kid; and much of the book’s charm lies in its use of simple, childlike line drawings. On most of these things, the company found good solutions.
The prince was played by a young actress who looked like a fairly convincing 12-year-old boy; the fox was played by an actress who found a wonderful character (but a terrible French accent).
And the planets were ingenious samples of clever stagecraft — each one made perfect sense, and no technology was repeated twice.
|This was my favorite planet.
Balancing on a giant plastic ball.
The whole action of the play took place on a giant, unfurled blank page on which the narrator (the adult aviator) drew pictures with a grease pencil.
As for the plot, well, there still wasn’t much of one. The prince’s travels from planet to planet ended up feeling somewhat like a quest, and the aviator’s reactions seemed to impose some sense of connection between the prince and his rose and the aviator’s youth and perhaps a lost love. But it scewed a little off-target, in my opinion, when it came time for the prince to return to his planet and the Christ-figure images became obvious and a little heavy handed. I wouldn’t say that it’s the best thing I’ve seen at Lookingglass, but it was fun and clever and a wonderful excuse to play in Chicago with wonderful friends.
|Will, Susan, Amanda, JJD|