Thursday, July 31, 2008
Cape Cod Time review of Chicken Little... " Very Worth Seeing!"
July 31, 2008
HYANNIS — "Chicken Little" is bigger than you might expect.
Bigger as in more characters, more costumes, more scenery and, most important, more laughs.
The littlest actors — namely, the brood of seven chicks, are too cute for words. But it's the older kids who turn in performances that elevate this children's story from something relatives must see to 75 minutes that hold appeal for a wider variety of theatergoers.
Story adapters John Sullivan and Ed O'Toole, who also directs, wrote in their drama club blog that they wanted to put in layers that would make this story of the sky falling into a tale for all ages. They've successfully done that, turning Chicken Little (Ashley Goverman in Tuesday's opening night, alternating with Emma Charpentier) into a gullible investigative reporter and Foxy Loxy (Ethan Brown) into a con man who tricks the hens into leaving their coops (places like "Bost-hen" and "Cooperstown") so he can steal eggs.
In this version, Turkey Lurkey (Megan Corrigan) is a spin doctor for the mayor, Booster Rooster (Tommy Myers). In her rumpled trench coat with tail feathers sticking out, Turkey Lurkey lurks around like the offspring of TV detective Columbo and Communist witch hunter Sen. Joseph McCarthy. There may also be a hint of Richard Nixon; it's hard to say.
Any child of the '60s who grew up in front of Saturday morning cartoons will recognize the stuttering but pompous Booster Rooster as reminiscent of Foghorn Leghorn, with his trademark, "I-I-I say, son, I say." But the character also brings to mind the last Democratic president. Either way, Myers nails it.
Henny Penny (Shannon Pacella in a role shared with Caitlin Corrigan) is more like comedian Henny Youngman, stuffed with zingers that make you simultaneously groan and laugh. "She takes three hours at the beauty parlor — for an estimate," HP taunts, talking about the Ugly Duckling (Johanna Regan), the elegant and ugly-no-more swan in a gown and lovely white feathered plume.
There's great chemistry (Can you say that about cartoon characters?) between Foxy Loxy and his dumb sidekick, Merritt the Ferret (Jason Pacella), and between Chicken Little and her sidekick, Ducky Lucky (Maddie Sicard). As Foxy, Brown is a fast talker who even moves slyly, with a balletic grace. It's that quality James Cagney had when playing gangsters. Sicard is hilarious with her bow-legged walk and baseball jersey, evoking TV sportswriter Oscar Madison.
So if you peel back all these layers and references, you have a sweet little tale of a bunch of children's story characters learning important life lessons from their mistakes. But if you happen to be a baby boomer, you get all the inside jokes too. It's very like "Shrek" that way and it's very worth seeing.
What: "Chicken Little:
A Fractured Fairy Tale"
Presented by: Barnstable Summer Family Theater
When: 7 tonight, tomorrow and Tuesday through Aug. 8
Where: Barnstable High School Performing Arts Center,
744 W. Main St., Hyannis
Posted by bhsdc at 4:03 AM