My middle grader and I attended opening night of Pinocchio on Friday.
This play was developed here at Children’s Theatre in 2013, has traveled around a bit and now come home to CTC. This was my first time seeing this version of Pinocchio.
Would I recommend this play. Well, yeah, I always recommend CTC shows, but as always, it depends on your child.
Photo Credit: Dean Holt as the Blue Fairy. Image by Dan Norman – courtesy Children’s Theatre Company
While I enjoy full-scale productions, I love shows that rely heavily on the actors and use very little in the way of special effects. If you feel the same way, this show won’t disappoint you. The actors are all CTC favorites. While the play starts out as a story being told by a group of painters, you soon forget the set and are drawn fully into the tale.
Age Recommendations for Pinocchio
Pinocchio is recommended for Kindergarten and up. This is due mainly to the fact that it is 1 hour and 45 minutes, including a 15 minute intermission. That’s a pretty long time to sit still – even for adults. The story itself, however, has enough physical humor and silly gags to entertain younger children. I would not hesitate to recommend bringing a younger child as long as you don’t mind the possibility of watching a portion on the lobby monitors.
If you want to come with smaller children, you will find no end to Pinocchio themed coloring pages and activities online. You could even print them out to do in the lobby if they need a break from sitting still.
For grade school children though, Pinocchio could lead to or be the culmination of a really fun self study. For one, this version, while truer to the original than the Disney version, is not faithful to it, and it does borrow a little from Disney as well. It would be fun to compare all three versions. What’s the same? What’s different? Which is your favorite?
I was pleasantly surprised when I reviewed the original Pinocchio that it is very amusing and feels like it was written for stage.
Slideshare.Net also has Ideas to Work With the Story of Pinocchio. These ideas are aimed at students in middle school, but the bullet point ideas are easy to read over and can give any parent ideas for conversation starters as you read together.
Seattle Children’s Theatre created a 31-page study guide that offers a trove of ideas for stretching the performance and further study. It also contains an interview with CTC’s Chris Schweiger, the original stage manager for Pinocchio.
Pinocchio runs through August 14th. Tickets start at $15.00. Lap passes are $5.00. For those who qualify, CTC does offer the ACT Pass program to reduce the cost of tickets and other offerings based on economic need.
Family Fun Twin Cities received two tickets to opening night of Pinocchio to facilitate this review.