Have you ever seen a six years old reaction to an adults kissing? Well, sit in the play, The Light PrincessÂ at the New Victory Theater, and youâ€™ll get dozens of kids screaming, â€œewweeeeeâ€. Before the kiss, youâ€™ll hear the kids asking each other frantically, â€œAre they going to kiss?â€ and when they kiss, many of them will turn their heads and refuse to look at the “scary” kiss.
This musical, performed at the New Victory Theater by the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard follows the journey of a young princess cursed to live without gravity, based on the nineteenth-century Scottish fairy tale by George MacDonald, The Light Princess is performed by second-year A.R.T. Institute students Ahmad Maksoud (Wiseman 1), Jason Markoff (Wiseman 2), Corey Sullivan (King), Steph Jack (Queen), Kristin Wetherington (Witch), Ashley J. â€˜Monetâ€™ (Princess), Alex Molina (Prince), Ben Sidell (Man of Stone), Sean Yves Lessard (Man of Silver), Kevin Wade (Man of Black Diamond) and Dralla Aierken, Kay Smith and Ingrid Werner (Gravitrons).
The A.R.T. Institute was established in 1987 as a two-year, graduate training program for theater professionals, operated in association with the Moscow Art Theater School (MXAT) which was founded by Constantin Stanislavski. Each year, approximately twenty-three select students are admitted to a full-time program of study in acting, dramaturgy, or voice pedagogy. The wide range of courses offered by the international faculty offers students unique preparation for the multifaceted demands of the professional theater.
On a recent Culture Mom viewing, we noticed thatÂ kids Â in the audience enjoyedÂ watching the witch (played by Kristin Wetherington). My daughter, who has a fear of witches, insisted that her favorite character in The Light Princess was the witch. She has a strong performance and a wonderful singing voice. She changes from a wicked witch who hates her Queen sister, detests music and people, to a lovely person who through music and love has changed. Â
Before the play, the theatre also provided an hour of kids’ activity. Kids can play bingo with a colorful and very friendly Queen, paint the sky, walk on clouds and more. In addition, the actors walk between the kids before the play and entertain them with with bubbles, butterflies and caterpillars. For one price, you are getting a full hour of indoor kids activity, in addition to seventyminutes of play.
With direction by Allegra Libonati, The Light PrincessÂ comes from a widely lauded and popular run at the acclaimed American Repertory Theater (Artistic Director, Diane Paulus). Accompanied by live, onstage music and cleverly choreographed by Jeffrey Kuperman and Rick Kuperman, our young heroine twirls above the stage, through the kingdom and into a magical forest as she searches for a way to come back to earth by her sixteenth birthday (or be doomed to defy gravity forever!).
Â Tickets forÂ The Light PrincessÂ atÂ The New Victory TheaterÂ (209 West 42nd Street) are $10, $13, $18 or $25 for Members based on seat locations, with full price tickets starting at $15.
Disclosure: The Culture Mom was provided with complimentary tickets to faciliate this review.
Liat Ginsberg is aÂ mother and a formerÂ Journalist for theÂ Israeli newspaper Maariv. SheÂ taught at the Film and Media department at Hunter College.