Thursday, December 10, 2009

Catch the Rabbit!

December 11 and 12 at the Arden Gild Hall, Bootless Artworks presents The Velveteen Rabbit, a puppet musical by Simon Chan adapted from the beloved book by Margery Williams. Directors Roseanne DellAversano and James Fuerst revised the show with the musical’s creator, Simon Chan, adding puppets to make it more accessible and fun.

The adorable hand puppets, created by DellAversano and Fuerst, are small enough to allow the audience to enjoy the actor’s voices and movements, yet they lend a fairytale feel to the show.

Sweet and playful, most of the story is set in the boy’s bedroom, where his toys come to life, arguing about which one of them is better and more loved. Big boxy toys Choo-Choo and Steamy, played by Sarah Blandy and Carlos Alicea respectively, take over the stage with their fine singing and bossy presence. Melissa Castillo (Velveteen Rabbit),is touching as she comforts the ailing Boy with her song, “All Through the Night”. Singing “The Use of Love” from atop a pile of trash, she is sure to move even the meanest fourth-grade class bully. Gary Hubbard (Harold) and Kimberly Pryor (Gwendolyn) are a riot in the jazzy song/dance number, “This Ain’t No Rabbit” as they mock and poke the forlorn stuffed animal. By the end of the show, both the boy, sung beautifully by Hunter Reed, and the Velveteen Rabbit find acceptance and love.

Bootless Artworks is committed to bringing theater to the community. Along with securing grants allowing for schools serving low-income populations to attend performances, the directors created a handbook for teachers of students up through 12th grade. This book gives tips on creating puppet-theater and provides a guide for the literary analysis.


Jessica Graae

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