Saturday February 24th 2018

“Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth”

mrs-pennyworth-8807Highly Recommended ***** Who’s afraid of the “big bad wolf”? Most everyone, I guess! But what if there was no “big Bad wolf?” What if he was killed? Would all the fairy tales that include this character be lost? Forever? “Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth”, now in its World Premiere at Lookingglass Theatre takes us into the exploration of just this. Written and directed by Doug Hara, this is 90 minutes of a pure theatrical and imaginative story that will become a theatrical experience that every audience member will hold dear for a good deal of time to come.

The two character play, is about a couple, “Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth” and deals with how they met, and perhaps even why they met. He, Mr. Pennyworth (played to absolute perfection by Samuel Taylor) is a story-teller. Mrs. Pennyworth ( a sterling performance by Lindsey Noel Whiting) meets him and is caught up in the spell of his story-telling. She also becomes a great story-teller and together they tour the small villages to relate their tales to the people. When the play opens (there is no curtain), we watch the set pieces move about to become the set (John Musial) for this specialized story. It seems, the “big Bad Wolf” has been murdered. They are informed of this fact by one of the three little pigs (this is where some of the magic of this specialized performance art takes hold). Puppets (created by  the amazing Blair Thomas) take the stage as well as some shadow puppetry (Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace and Julia Miller) and unreal projections by Chicago favorite Mike Tutaj, making this a visual treat beyond belief.lookingglass_pennyworth_9719clizlauren-300x200

The story is NOT over! The “Big Bad Wolf” is dead? Where do we go from here? How can the stories that have been told over the generations continue to flourish and be part of the lives of our children? Our “heros’,  set out to find the answers, going though many stories where this character was involved in order to bring order or we might lose these stories forever. These two actors, both members of this amazing theater company prove just how powerful story-telling can be. Every little part of the production is important to the overall story and despite our being able to see the two performers preparing for the next mind-boggling concept, it all blended and worked. I see several Jeff Awards of this one.

Can they resurrect the fairy tales from the books they have vanished from? Can they differentiate between stories and myths (there is some great discussion on Odin and other mythical characters from Greek Mythology. The most lookingglass_pennyworth_8854clizlauren-288x300importance to the overall production is the resolution of the situation- how can these stories remain without the “bad guy”? Theater people know the importance and value f story-telling (for sure), but Hara weaves an even mor intriguing story dealing with the love that these two share and their desire to save for mankind what is meant to be shared by all. I found myself captivated for the entire 89 minutes and thirty seconds. These two actors were amazing as they became the puppets of Thomas and the characters that were indeed story-tellers. Let’s face it, their performances were in fact, story-telling!

If one wants to find out what happens between “Once upon a time” and “The End”, this is certainly a great piece to do so! “Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth” will continue at The Lookingglass Theatre located at  821 N. Michigan Avenue (the Water Works Building) through February 19th with performances as follows:

lookingglass_pennyworth_9385clizlauren-300x200Tuesdays  2 p.m. and 7 :30 p.m. (12/27)

Wednesdays  7:30 p.m.

Thursdays  2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Fridays  7:30 p.m.

Saturdays  2 and 7:30 p.m. (no 12/24 and 12/31)

Sundays  2 and 7:30 p.m. ( no 12/25)

Tickets range from $40-$70 (a bit higher for 12/23-12/31) and can be purchased at the box office, by calling 312-337-0665 or online at http://www,lookingglasstheatre.org

OPEN CAPTION: January 5th at 7:30 p.m.

Touch Tour: January 12th  7:30 p.m. with touch tour at 6 p.m.

www.lookingglasstheatre.org/access

for Reflect discussion schedule, www.lookingglasstheatre.org/reflect

Special January 20th for young professionals- pre-show reception at Jake Melnick’s and a night at the theater

students with valid ID can get tickets for $20 (based on availability)lookingglass_pennyworth_9184clizlauren-300x200

To see what others are saying, visit http://www,theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth”

Children will adore the show (but I for one would not suggest under 8 years of age-they might get scared)

 

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