Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review - Tallish Tales (Midtown International Theatre Festival)

By Rebecca N. Robertson

Tallish Tales: A Cautionary Fable for Children and Adults brings to the stage Victorian tales about rowdy little girls, examined in a 1950's context. Originally published in 1845, "Der Struwwelpeter" (Shaggy Peter) is a book of satirical tales by German psychologist Heinrich Hoffman that exaggerates the advice of the other children's books of the time wherein children who are badly behaved invariably suffer dire consequences. Tallish Tales is an adaptation for the stage of one of the translations of this book, "Slovenly Betsy".

This show may not be for everyone. Ample gore is suggested with brightly colored strips of cloth and puppet-like prosthetics, but long bouts of sobbing and no understanding the original satirical context could make this somber show frightening for small or very sensitive children. Adults expecting something intellectually stimulating, such as an examination of child rearing morays over the past two centuries, or feminist points of nurture vs. nature, will find only simplified dramatic action contrasted with clever rhymes of classical verbosity. But naughty children of all ages who are well-accustomed to the violence of the average cartoon may mischievously giggle at over-the-top antics and appreciate the feat of animating these dark humored stories on stage.

Tallish Tales: A Cautionary Fable for Children and Adults
Book Adaptation / Costume Design by Amy Kitzhaber
Directed by Brian Maschka
Set Design: Christine Peters
Composer: Benjamin Furiga
Audio Engineer / Sound Designer: Nathan Manley
Lighting Designer: Matthew Gross
Props / Puppet Building: Rachel Baron, Anne M. Thorson
Public Relations: Julia Browning

Featuring: Stacia Newcomb, Nicole Stefonek, and the voice of Joseph Bergquist

The Dorothy Streslin Theatre
312 W. 36th St.

July 13th @ 8:00pm
July 14 @ 6:00pm
July 24th @ 7:00pm
July 25th @ 5:30pm
July 29th @ 8:00pm
July 31st @ 3:00pm

No comments: