I’m always amazed in my kids’s suspension of disbelief. Last weekend, we took them to see Pinocchio at The Puppet Company at Glen Echo Park. Even though both my 6 year old daughter and my 2 ½ year old son knew the characters were puppets, they were mesmerized all the same. My toddler was even frightened by some of the characters, they were so real to him. Disclaimer: The Puppet Company recommends the show for kids in grades K-6 so we fully prepared to take him out of the theatre when he became scared, which he did.
Before seeing Pinocchio, I discussed the story with my daughter. We then realized that we only knew Disney’s version of the story, not the original 1883 The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. This made us more excited to see The Puppet Company’s telling of Pinocchio.
While my daughter was drawn into naughty Pinocchio’s misadventures, my husband and I were amazed by the puppetry. The rod puppets’ movements were smooth and lifelike. Even the mouths moved on some of the puppets! Director (and performer) Allan Stevens utilized animated backgrounds projected on a screen to depict different locations during the story. I especially loved how he used the same screen to create shadow puppets.
This Saturday, April 28 is National Puppet Day and Glen Echo Park’s Family Day Festival. To celebrate National Puppet Day, The Puppet Company has a full schedule of shows for the entire family, even a puppet for show for adults, Playhouse Puppetry Slam. There will also be plenty of activities for your family throughout Glen Echo Park on Saturday.
The Puppet Company is located at Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, MD. Pinocchio runs for 45 minutes, and you can catch the performances until June 3, 2012. Tickets are $10 for adults and children. You can purchase tickets online or by calling (301) 634-5380.
Photo credits: Christopher Piper