Setting off on an adventure to visit Talespinner Children’s Theatre (TCT), is always an exciting jaunt. Executive Artistic Director Alison Garrigan and her astute creative partners always deliver a top notch professional show that thrills and educates the young audiences, as well as parents. But, as you approach the Reinberger Auditorium, it is not hard to find the entrance. There is usually a stream of young ladies showing off their princess dresses, accompanied by rowdy brothers, bouncing off the walls in excitement. And they have every reason to be excited, because the current offering at TCT, Loki and Lucy (A Norse Mythology Story) by Michael Geither, is very entertaining.
If you are wondering what is Norse Mythology, briefly it is a kind of religion that was practiced by some of the people in the Scandinavian countries, primarily Vikings. In the last few decades, the stories and culture of the Vikings have increasingly spread across the world. This was the origin of Norse mythology. They are what these people believed, and their religion had no specific name, and this made it seem like a tradition practice. They believed in their gods’ deities such as the Odin, Thor, Loki, and Freya, and other mythical beings such as the giant, dwarfs and other creatures. Such the stories of doing good and bad were accessible to the children, and the adults who needed it.
Hence, we come to this particular tale of Loki and Lucy (A Norse Mythology Story). Featured is the story of Lucy (a delightful Melissa T. Crum), and her dream adventure, that seems to be guided by the mischievous Loki (fun-loving Bryan Ritchey). At first we find Lucy at home with her mother (charming Brittany Gaul), and we see a tree in the background that looks suspiciously alive (Loki). When Lucy falls asleep, Loki comes alive and takes her on a journey filled with wonderful characters. All the actors are firing on all cylinders. Nicholas Chokan is a scream as Thor, wielding his big hammer and arsenal of comedic gold. Gaul also takes on the role of the Fenrir, and creates quite the pesky Fox to everyone’s delight. Nate Miller as Thorbjorn Horgabrudr, is also a hoot with a mugtastic face and physicality that completely engages and entertains. Bryan Ritchey as Loki, does a fabulous job of weaving the tale, and pulling Lucy along for the ride. Ritchey is engaging, affable, and moves with animated grace. Crum is a bouncy, peppy, childlike gift to the proceedings. She has a beautiful way of connecting with the audience that enhances the entire experience. Such a delightful presence the entire journey.
As usual, the costuming, puppets, and set design are unique and engaging. Set and Puppet Design by Alison Garrigan, who is a creative force that seems to know no boundaries. The fabulous Costume Design by Melanie Boeman is just a feast for the eyes. Lighting Designer Benjamin Gantose provides his excellence once again. Stage Manager Tania Benites called a great show. Assistant Director and Tech Director Charles Hargrave sharing his refined talents. Movement by Katelyn Cornelius was very interesting. And may I say, that it is nice to see a production that doesn’t use common dance steps to convey the story. I think Twyla Tharp will enjoy what goes on here. And the icing on the cake is the Director Alison Garrigan. The story is told with such energetic and focused composition, but still allows the silliness to provide the performance, so kids can laugh, and parents can revel in their children’s laughter, while being entertained themselves. Just a handsome production on all levels. The vision is clear, and all of us win as a result.
Congratulations on another fabulous show. Please take your kids out to see this show, and experience Talespinner Children’s Theatre. This is children’s theatre with a professional vision, and enough heart and soul to make any bad day better.
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$10-$15 General Admission
Talespinner Children’s Theatre
5209 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44102