Bethesda’s Imagination Stage takes dead aim at the 4 to 12 set in a six-production season which will feature a world premiere of a Roald Dahl play, the company announced yesterday.
Dahl’s new work, The Magic Finger, is the story of an eight-year-old girl with a justice-dealing magic finger which, when pointed with intention, rewards goodness and punishes evildoers. When her friend’s family horrifies her by hunting ducks, she points her magic finger and transforms people into ducklike creatures and ducks into humans, with unfortunate consequences for all. Kathryn Chase Bryer directs this David Wood adaptation, which will run April 12 to May 24 of next year and is recommended for ages 5 to 10.
The Magic Finger will run in rep with Dahl’s well-known James and the Giant Peach. Peach is the story of James, a young orphan boy sentenced to live with two cruel aunties. When James falls upon a bag of crocodile tongues, they give him the magic power to summon up a gigantic peach, big talking bugs (I have some of those in my house) and a flock of seagulls. Off they go over the Atlantic! Janet Stanford directs the Wood adaptation, which will run April 3 to May 26, 2013, and is recommended for ages 4 to10.
Imagination brings back a hit to open their season: P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical, Psalmayene 24’s reworking of the Pinocchio story. In Mr. 24’s version, with music by Nick Hernandez, G. Petto is a computer game designer, one of whose creations magically comes to life. Psalmayene directs this production, which runs September 29 to October 18 of this year. The company recommends this show for ages 5 to 12.
On November 14. Imagination will open the Ahrens-Flaherty musical Seussical, in which many of the characters created by Theodor Geisel (a/k/a Dr. Seuss) come to full-throated life, and conflict. JoJo, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McBuzz and the rest resolve questions of personhood in true Seuss style. The company recommends this show for those age 4-12. Stanford will direct the production, which will run until January 6, 2013.
Imagination tries something new with Anime Momotaro, which will run from January 30 to March 10, 2013. This is an ancient Japanese story of Momotaro, a boy of mysterious origins who grows up to be the strongest man in Japan. With the help of his dog, his bird and his monkey, he decides to take on the giant ogres who have been bullying his small-town home for years. This production, which was adapted by the Honolulu Theatre of Youth along with Alvin Chan and Eric Johnson, will be done in Japanese Anime style. The company suggests this for ages 5-10. Johnson will direct.
Finally, after turning its stage into a Dahl house, Imagination closes its season with Alan Cardarelli’s and Steven Goers’ Peter Pan and Wendy. In this version of the popular (and much analyzed) J.M. Barrie story, Wendy has no more interest in growing up than Peter has, and the chances of perpetual childhood ride high. Peter Pan and Wendy, Bryer directing, will run from June 26 to August 11, 2013. The company recommends this production for those aged 4-10.
To buy tickets to Imagination Stage’s 2012-2013 season, click here.