Children’s TV host Mr. Felt (Steve Brady) performs with his puppets Carol the Pony and Francis
TheatreWorks is presenting another amazing show as the opener of their 45th season. This is the world premiere of The Great Pretender, by David West Read, and I have no doubt this original show will be playing many theaters in the future.
Mr. Felt is the host of a televised puppet show for children. He works with a puppet child named Francis, a puppet pony named Carol and a couple other friends. In the opening we get to see them put on their puppet show of craft making, which goes on just long enough to make me wonder if the entire play was going to be a child’s puppet show… but soon enough the theme music fades out and we head a few months into the future. Mr. Felt’s wife, the puppeteer for Francis, has passed away, and someone new is needed to replace her. We soon meet Carol, the puppeteer for Carol the Pony (and the most terrible human on the planet), another puppeteer Tom, and newbie Jodi, who grew up with the show and wants more than anything to be a part of it.
Mr. Felt (Steve Brady) watches skeptically while Jodi (Sarah Moser) tells Tom (Michael Storm) and Carol (Suzanne Grodner) about the pants she made herself
My friend and I were excited to see this show because PUPPETS, and also the line “Contains Mature Language”, and how can you miss with that combo?? But PEOPLE. This show made me almost cry. Well, perhaps I did actually cry a little, or maybe there was just a lot of pollen in the theater. I certainly wasn’t the only one in the theater with sniffles. The Great Pretender isn’t just a puppet show, it is about Life, and Death, and Friendships, and realizing who your Family is when you have no one. It also made me laugh hysterically. It touched me on so many levels, in a way that many other shows have not. But what did I expect? This is TheatreWorks, and they have consistently presented the best of the best for the last year I have attended.
The production is not actually for children as there are mature language and situations, and also, the character of Carol should not be anywhere near children, haha. But teens would be fine, and other than that, everyone should go see this amazing show immediately. I don’t think we have seen the last of David West Read, and The Great Pretender is absolutely headed for the big time.
The Great Pretender
Through August 3, 2014
At Lucie Stern Theatre, Palo Alto