Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review-Immaginare un nuovo “Pinocchio”: Alberta Opera takes on the classic tale

From Sound and Noise · University of Alberta Music Students on Music

What: Pinocchio

Date & Venue: Running Oct 27-November 4 at the Transalta Arts Barns, tickets and further info here.

Directed by Farren Timoteo

Music by Jeff Unger

Starring Madeline Knight, Byron Martin and Christopher Scot

This is not the Disney version of Pinocchio. While the main theme may still be there, the story itself varies from what one may be used to. Pinocchio is still a children’s show—for the most part at least—but it also is a show for, well, everyone else. In three words, this play is creative, entertaining and engaging.

The actors were impressive. Madeline Knight (Pinocchio), Byron Martin (Geppetto) and Christopher Scot (Vincenzo) did an excellent job with each and every character they represented. The three of them carried out the 60 minutes of play flawlessly, and not only with their acting but also with their amazing voices—and I must say I particularly enjoyed the Italian accents.

The costumes were fascinating, and they had a very important role—with only three actors and at least 15 different characters, the costumes were crucial. Not only must they fit every character’s personality, they also had to be so different and distracting that the audience could easily ignore the familiarity that, as the play evolved, one started to feel with each actor. In this play, there was seldom a time in which was I taken out of the fantasy world that the play presented me with and thought “this is the same actor as before.” That, in my opinion, is quite an unusual reaction—especially since the actors were, in fact, easy to recognize.

It was the costumes, the setting and the amazing acting and singing the reason why this play was so entertaining—that, and the smart dialogues. When going to a kid’s show, it is easy to get bored by the simplicity in which some jokes and situations are presented, but this is not the case. While there’s still that playful aspect to the play, which seems to target mostly children, the dialogues were elaborated to be appealing to all audiences.

Another thing that made Pinocchio so interesting was the scenography. It is not very complex, but complexity, the play shows, is not always ideal. With only a couple of circus curtains, 3 buckets, 4 poles, and a wooden trunk, the narrative takes you from Italy to the bottom of the ocean (among other unique places). Of course, it was with the aid of the lightning and sound effects that such an outcome was easily achieved, but without a doubt, the creative use of the objects was impressive.

It is refreshing to see a play that does such a good job in exploring the power that imagination can have, and while it is nice to see exactly what the writers and directors want you to see, there is nothing better than what you can imagine for yourself. Nothing can top what is perfect for you.

All in all, going to Pinocchio is a great way to spend any 60 minutes of the day.

by Ana Osorio


No comments:

Post a Comment