Close your eyes, right now, and remember when you were just a little gaffer. Envision a talking, dancing cricket dazzling your imagination and bringing out a giggle. Now remember the thud of your heart when a little boy was whisked away to Pleasure Island in a rolling cage...
... NOW remember the stars in your eyes, as a small hero marionette was transformed into a "real live boy" right before your very eyes! Now open them!!
If you actually closed your eyes when I said, then you probably missed the point of this exercise, so let me bring you up to speed.
Kelowna Actors Studio is about to bring our inner-children screaming and cheering to the surface! This Thursday, February 28th, Kelowna Actors Studio presents MY SON PINOCCHIO live on stage for 4 magical nights.
Based on the classic Disney tale, MY SON PINOCCHIO follows the adventures of the young marionette on his journey to becoming a live human character. The story is again told through the eyes of Pinocchio's father, Geppetto (played by the legendary Randy Leslie), who makes his memorbale "wish upon a star", that his marionette may become a real boy so he may have a son of his very own.
Geppetto discovers how difficult being a father truly is, and after Pinocchio accidentally hears of his father's regrets, the confused little marionette runs away to be a star in evil Stromboli's "Musical Extravaganza". Geppetto, heartbroken and determined, sets of his own journey to find his son and lvingly bring him home where he belongs.
Local "triple-threat" performer Vuk Prodanovic will play the lead character favorite, Pinocchio. If you are familiar with Kelowna theatre, which I hope you are or soon will be, you will recognize this stellar performer from such productions as Miracle on 34th Street, Evita, Annie, South Pacific, or most impressively, as Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid Jr.
You will recognize the Disney Story as well as new plot twists including a machine that cranks out perfect children. And then there's the closing melody, a new song about a parent's visceral love for his (or her) children, which will make even the most stoic parents emotional.
MY SON PINOCCHIO opens this Thursday, and runs matinee and early evening dinner shows until Sunday night. Please visit http://www.kelownaactorsstudio.com for ticket information and all upcoming shows for the 2013 season
HISTORY & CAST NOTES
The character of "Pinocchio" dates back to 1883 as a children's novel by Italian author Carlo Collodi about the mischievous adventures of the animated marionette and his poor father, a woodcarver named Geppetto. Considered a classic of children's literature, it has spawned many derivative works of art, such as Disney's 1940 animated movie of the same name.
In recent years, the story of "Pinocchio" was transformed into an original television musical "Geppetto," which premiered on "The Wonderful World of Disney" in 2000, retelling the classic tale of "Pinocchio" from the perspective of his maker and father, Geppetto. Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for this television special. He later collaborated with Musical Theatre International and book writer David Stern to develop the television musical to stage, originally titled GEPPETTO & SON. The production retains many of the same characters from the 1940 Disney film, including the Blue Fairy and the callous puppeteer Stromboli. The show premiered under its former name, Disney's GEPPETTO & SON in 2006.
Composer Stephen Schwartz has contributed music and/or lyrics to GODSPELL, PIPPIN, THE MAGIC SHOW, THE BAKER'S WIFE, WORKING (which he also adapted and directed), RAGS, CHILDREN OF EDEN and the current Broadway hit, WICKED. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein's MASS and wrote the title song for the play and movie BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, CAPTAIN LOUIE and MY SON PINOCCHIO. For films, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's "Enchanted" as well as the animated features "Pocahontas" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature "The Prince of Egypt."
The adult actor cast of MY SON PINOCCHIO includes Valeh Ashraf as The Blue Fairy, Brandon Shalanksy as Stromboli, James Long as Buonragrazzo, Mac Mackay as the RIngleader, plus Harmony Taetz, Andrea Sorestad, Marissa Piatelli, Emily Sherwood, Emma Butler, Delphine Litke, Karen Shale, Chelsea Spittle, William Power, Avery Kirk and Marko Prodanovic. Victoria Miller (Annie in Annie) and Kate Hammer (Susan in Miracle on 34th Street) lead our youth ensemble including Taylor Baker, Jaxon Jensen, Shiloh Taetz and Francesca Drummond.
The Artistic Staff for MY SON PINOCCHIO includes: Margaret Gobie (Director), Roslyn Frantz (Music Director), Randy Leslie (Choreographer), Hazel Rodgers & Deanna Hammer (Costume Design), James Long (Lighting Designer), Jordan Leboe (Sound Designer) and Carly Bowering (Stage Manager).