Last night, my daughter and I got a sneak preview of Heist by Sparkle Theatricals. The play opens tonight and runs through November 3rd at the Off Leash Art House in South Minneapolis. We went into this show blind. It’s not based on a book and the early information about it was vague. We guessed, based on the logo and the description provided, that my mystery-loving teen would be a good match for this production.
Joann is fresh out of prison when she discovers a hidden compartment in what she believed to be an empty jewelry box — the only connection to a family she never knew. The papers hidden within offer some clues to the mystery of her family’s history. This story walks a tightrope between the fantasy of daydreams and a somewhat bleak commentary on circumstance versus choice. It accomplishes this with a mix of storytelling, magic tricks, juggling, hand shadows and dance.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved this play. You go in wondering how they are going to mix all these elements in a way that doesn’t lose the audience and you leave amazed that they did it. But they did. In less than an hour, an ensemble of five artists not only tells a compelling story with a complex moral dilemma, but does it in a way that can entertain kids and adults at the same time. Some parts are hilarious while others are endearing. The ending will give you something to discuss on the drive home.
Parental Guidance on Heist
While this show is billed as an “all ages” production, the creators suggest age 6 and up. I would realistically recommend it for age 8+. I could easily see my 8 year old son loving portions of this and being able to sit through parts that went over his head. I do not believe my 6 year old would have been able to stay engaged for the full 50 minutes. The venue is cozy. Typical young-child squirminess would likely be bothersome to other patrons.
Parents should know that there kids aren’t going to follow the plot perfectly. Some things that adults will appreciate will likely go over their heads. If kids don’t have a solid base in spy movies – James Bond, the Pink Panther, Mission Impossible — some references will slip past them. Depending on their age, kids may see this as more of a string of entertaining scenes rather than a developing story line.
Parental Cautions: The main character is in prison in the first scene and several scenes recount crimes, but nothing in the show is graphic and adult themes are treated vaguely enough that they will probably be missed by kids. The main character drinks alcohol. I assumed she was over 21 since she was being released from prison; but, because of an early scene, my daughter assumed she was being released from an orphanage and was likely 17 or 18. There is one scene that employs strobe lights and fog machines.
Final Thoughts on Heist
Heist is playing at the Off-Leash Art Box for a short run of October 25th through November 3rd, 2018. I highly recommend this short play for both adults and children. Tickets $15/children to $30/adults. Online ticket orders can use discount code “EMERALD” to receive a $5 discount.
Oct. 25, 26, 27, 31 and Nov. 1, 2, 3 – Shows at 6:30 and 8:00 pm.
Oct. 28 and 29 – Shows at 6:30 pm. Oct. 29 is ASL Interpreted.
About Sparkle Theatricals and Off-Leash Art Box
Sparkle Theatricals is a a Minneapolis-based theatre company that was founded in 2015. HEIST is its 5th annual Halloween show and its 8th original production. The company strives for originality, integrity, and fun in their performances. They pay fair wages to their artist collaborators and prioritize accessibility services like ASL interpretation.
Off-Leash Art Box (4200 E 54th St. Minneapolis 55417) was once a vacant property that has been transformed into a creative space for small productions. The venue is ADA accessible.