By Katie Pynes Anetsberger
Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation, The Lied Center, October 16, 2022 4:00PM
This afternoon, I was delighted to take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood, a magical place familiar to all born in the last century. From book, to countless film, tv and movie adaptations, Winnie the Pooh has become a cultural icon in many countries around the world, and we never seem to tire of recounting his stories in new ways. The astounding puppets, which animate the newest production, bring the same joy and laughter I have come to expect from our friend, Pooh Bear.
After a successful beginning in NYC and Chicago, Winnie the Pooh began its extensive tour across the United States before continuing to the United Kingdom early next year. This newly imagined production, created by Jonathan Rockefeller, is a collaboration of Rockefeller Productions and Disney Theatrical Productions, two giants in the family-friendly theatre industry.
I have enjoyed attending Disney’s high-caliber theatre productions on their cruise ships, and this production meets the quality I have come to expect from the company.
The beloved characters are animated by a group of very talented puppeteers, some playing more than one role. I was particularly struck by the puppeteer (Luke Dombroski) who successfully performed three characters: Rabbit, Eeyore and Owl. Blake Rushing, another incredible artist, brought Tigger to life in such a way that I almost forgot that there was a puppeteer behind the puppet! And of course Pooh Bear (Coldin Grundmeyer) captured everyone’s hearts with his performance.
Geared toward the very young, this production immerses the audience into the story, which winds familiar vignettes from the films and books with a variety of sweet musical numbers. I might have enjoyed one, cohesive story more as an adult, but the young viewers loved recognizing snippets of many of their favorite scenes, such as Eeyore’s house falling (yet again), bouncing with Tigger through Rabbit’s garden, and the ‘silly old bear’ getting stuck in a honey tree. Having a run time of only 60 minutes makes this a perfect first theatre experience for children.
The second of two performances is tomorrow morning before the tour moves on–don’t miss your opportunity to sing along with your childhood friends in The Hundred Acre Wood!
If you go: Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation plays Sunday October 16th at 4PM, and Monday October 17th at 10AM. For ticket information visit https://www.liedcenter.org/event/winnie-pooh.
Katie Pynes Anetsberger is an avid reader, aspiring writer, amateur artist and mother of three magical humans. A staunch supporter of the arts, she firmly believes, in the words of Dostoevsky “The world will be saved by beauty.”
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