Eric Carle’s’ The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a popular book for children, so image a theater full of toddlers and preschoolers engaged and seated for an hour. This adorable production from Australia is magical with it’s puppetry and the perfect first theatre show for children. The show takes four of Carle’s tales, blends them with 75 handcrafted large-scale puppets, four actors who double as puppeteers and narrators and a set by Raul Abrego that transforms into the sea, a garden and the night sky.
The first story The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, has life size puppets of a purple fox, a pink rabbit, a black bear, a red crocodile, a yellow cow and a polka dotted donkey. The Green Lion and the orange elephant are done in a very imaginative way that is sure to have your children laughing. Before each animal is shown, a hand painted colorful scarf, drifts through the air with a choreographed easy.
Mister Seahorse, lets children know how fathers care for their young as eggs. it is a great message for children. Set to the tune of Jamaican steel drums and trumpets the sea never sounded so inviting.
The Very Lonely Firefly used wonderful stage lighting by Nicholas Rayment and soundscapes like crickets and firecrackers by Nate Edmondson to create a nighttime world.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is about a hungry caterpillar that devours food with a countdown that kids join in, until he metamorphosis into a butterfly who spreads its wings.
The cast includes Ariel Lauryn who had a wonderful storytelling quality, Kayla Prestel who moved with easy and who I would of like to have seen more, Jake Bazel a wonderful puppeteer and the lanky Weston Long.
I really loved the work by The Puppet Kitchen and found their creations delightful.
If you are a parent bringing your child, make sure you read them all four books to extend their enjoyment. The good news is parents will be just as entertained as their youngsters due to the creative sets, scarves and puppets.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show by Rockefeller Productions: 47th Street Theatre at 304 West 47th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) until March 27th. A single Spanish-language performance and an Autism-friendly show are available.