Nothing is more enjoyable or fulfilling than seeing a group of young children sitting on the “red carpet” along the apron of the stage at the 14th Street Y watching the altogether imaginative and engaging performance of “A Wonderfully Flat Thing” – based on a fable by Mark Twain who appears as a life size puppet (operated by Jake Goodman) wearing bunny slippers, surrounded by books and huge Day-Glo trees as he attempts to type out a story about a “flat thing” with his curious marionette of a cat (Emily Hartford) nearby.
Nothing that is, except seeing how the imagination of adults can produce such an entertaining stage presentation so that the little kids can have a new kind of learning experience. A unique experience of words, dance, music, color, laughter and wonderment that is something akin to a kiddie version of “Avenue Q”.
The fantastic large hand held puppets are performed by actors pretending to be a know-it-all donkey (Jake Goodman) His Majesty the Elephant (Shawn Shafner) a most likable snake (Sarah Painter) and an Ostrich that wishes she could fly (Sarae Garcia) that the children totally believe in – interacting with them and answering questions when asked. It’s infectiously delightful.
The “flat thing” turns out to be a mirror in which each animal sees something different – their own reflection which is enhanced by large, magical video projections (David Tirosh) to keep the tot’s attention from wandering.
Mark Twain, in his clever way, imparts to us that the “flat thing” reflects not only our image but our imagination. Imagine it and you can see it. What a wonderful message being shared in this 45 minute live theatrical production created by Manju Shandler (also responsible for the fabulous puppets and set design) & Basmat Hazan.
David Winitsky, the director of “A Wonderfully Flat Thing” graciously includes the children whenever he can – their reactions and comments are priceless. It’s a great way for parents to connect with their children and share this exciting experience. Especially after the performance when there is a “Meet and Greet” with the animals, er the puppets, er the actors.
Not many performances left, so hurry. www.14StreetY.org/awft 212 780 0800
Tickets $15.00/ $50.00 for a family of 4. Recommended for ages 3 and up.
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