Highly Recommended****The intimate space of the larger of the Writers Theatre venues, Tudor Place, is sheer perfection for the charm and clevernessof a new play with music by PigPen Theatre Company. This is not a typical production for for those who frequent Writers, but is in fact,a folk musical ( an Irish Folk Musical) that blends story telling, puppetry and artistic musical numbers into what one might call , a theatrical experience. Seven very tealented men, under the keen eye of directorStuart Carden ( and the ensemble of PigPen) on a dark set (Lydia Fine and Bart Cortright) take us on a journey for 100 minutes ( no intermission) of an old man ( Ryan Melia, a solid actor) whose daily chore is to refill the spills that the old Moon has each night. That is the spilled light ( which is the cause of partial moons, according to the legends in this tale).
Each night, after he does his job, he comes home to his wife ( deftly handled by the charming Alex falberg) who is bored with the existence they have and wants to take a trip West, towards town. The Old Man says no, and “she” takes off. In his haste to follow her, he is unable to rent a boat so he works his way, by using a false identity onto a war ship that is heading off in another direction. It is with this crew of men (Matt Nuernberger, Dan Weschler,Ben Ferguson,Curtis Gillen and Arya Shani ( each one plays a musical instrument as well) where we find his determination and true love as well as the emotions of the men who sail under him.
The puppetry is divine work as we see sheets and special lighting used to make us fall into the creativity of these men. While the lighting is dark ( as is the tale) the costumes (Carolyn Cristofani),props(Meredith Miller) and sound ( Mikhail Fiksel) are key parts in making the small theater a perfect spot ofr an intimate telling of a new mythology. What is amazing is that the props and puppets were blended into the story after the story itself was created. For the audience, we get to see the actors move to spots and handle the puppets, yet, we do not care- the magic that they have created in the story itself takes over and becomes part of the experience.
If you are not a regular at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, this is something new, but worth the trip to Glencoe; if you are a regular audience member, this is indeed a new experience.”The Old Man and The Old Moon” will continue at Writers Theatre located at 325 Tudor Court through November 10th with performances as follows:
Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
(there are selected matinees as well)
Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 and 6 p.m.
Tickets range from $35-$70 and can be purchased at the box office located at the box office located around the corner at 376 Park Avenue, by phone at 847-242-6000 or online at www.writerstheatre.org
There is plenty of free parking in the area
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “The Old Man and The Old Moon”