Monday, February 16, 2015

reviews - THE BOY WHO LOVED MONSTERS AND THE GIRL WHO LOVED PEAS - Childsplay

Katie McFadzen as "Pea"
(photo: Tim Trumbule)
For more information on this production that runs through March 8, click here

 " In its own, somewhat subversive way, Pea proves beyond a doubt that the best time a child can have is not necessarily from an electronic game on a cell or an I-pad, it’s the fun that springs from a vivid imagination and one you share with others. The Boy Who Loved Monsters and the Girl Who Loved Peas is a delightful family comedy with big laughs that speeds along for approximately sixty minutes like a screwy cartoon and holds your attention right up until that final fade.  As an adult, watching the amazed faces of the children glued to the events on the stage, particularly when Pea rises up from under the dinner table, is as much fun as watching the show itself. Childsplay continues to work wonders.  For this reviewer, its energy, its devotion, and most of all, its love of what its doing never creases to amaze.  The group’s principle aim may be to both entertain and inspire children – which it does wonderfully – but for adults it remains among the best professional theatre in the valley you never knew existed." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"A fun and whacky new play for children of all ages, The Boy Who Loved Monsters and the Girl Who Loved Peas is receiving a spirited production from Childsplay in Tempe. With some Childsplay regulars in the cast, and crazy and colorful design elements, the play is a charmer with a message at the center about the importance of family together time. Eight-year old Evan hates peas and his 4-year old sister Sue loves them. When Evan is told he can't leave the dinner table until he finishes the peas on his plate, he does what any stubborn child would do and wishes that a monster would come to finish his peas and eat his family as well. Playwright Jonathan Graham has written an entertaining piece that includes comic moments that children and adults can identify with as well as a clear, serious message about the importance of putting down your phone or iPad in order to be more "present" for your family. In typical Childsplay fashion, the cast and creative elements are exceptional. Katie McFadzen, Tyler Eglen, and Michelle Cunneen form a fun trio as the monster named Pea, Evan, and Sue. McFadzen makes a lively, charming and silly monster, and Eglen and Cunneen are appropriately childlike. Likewise, Debra K. Stevens and Mel Glotfelty are perfect as the somewhat aloof but still loving parents. All five have a blast with the playful elements of the script, which adds a nice touch of fun and frivolity to the proceedings. Graham has created fun characters and situations and a timely message that any child or parent can easily relate to. With inventive creative elements that explode on the Tempe Center for the Arts stage, Childsplay has another winner on its hands." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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