This past Saturday, little miss Marisol and I headed out to the westside to attend Tall Tales: Myths of Magical Trees, a children’s theater production at the Geffen Playhouse. Marisol had been so excited for this adventure that for ten days, from the moment we marked her calendar with a big tree sticker, she would tell me, “Mommy, I can’t wait to see the magic tree play!” To both our delight, she was not disappointed.
Tall Tales: Myths of Magical Trees is only one in a series of family theater events called Saturday Scene at the Geffen. The performance was a whimsical combination of storytelling, puppetry, clowning, and shadow theater. Tall Tales wove together disparate tree mythologies from four different cultures in a way that was easy for kids to understand while still being compelling for adults. Most importantly, it was fun. Audible laughter and gasps accompanied some of the more memorable moments, such as when the spirit of the wind blew off stage into the audience, at least 12 feet tall with an even larger “windspan.”
After the performance, the actors, creators, and production crew came onstage to answer questions from the audience. The cast of actors also generously came into the lobby while the little theatergoers enjoyed complimentary post-show snacks. Marisol filled up the autograph section of her program and got to hold the star puppet of the show, Robbie the Robin. The Geffen even provided free postcards for children to take home which read, “I saw a show at the Geffen and I’d love to tell you all about it!” We forgot to grab some on the way out, but it’s a lovely idea to encourage kids to talk about theater.
Before the show, we were welcomed and informed that Tall Tales had been traveling around to area schools as part of the Geffen’s educational programming. It made me happy to think about how many children were being given the opportunity to experience the magic of theater.
Tickets to Saturday Scene events are $10 for children and $15 for adults or can be purchased as part of a subscription (starting at $30 for three shows).
Even though the show’s running time was under an hour, between exploring the beautiful theater space beforehand and mingling with the cast afterwards, we spent about two hours at the Geffen. The show is recommended for children ages 5-11, but my girl, who is a little younger, loved it and before we even left the building she had already asked me, “When do we get to come back?” I guess an encore is in order!
Disclosure: I recieved two free tickets from the Geffen Playhouse to attend the show; however the opinions expressed here are entirely my own (and Marisol’s).