Old Man and the Old Moon Review – A New Musical Folk Tale

PigPen Theatre Company in OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON - Photo by Jenny Anderson

Myth, raucous folk music, shadow puppets, sparkling sticks and stones set, spirited characters, playful abandon, unbounded energy – OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON has it all, and then some. Presented by the PigPen Theatre Company, this extravaganza presents a folk tale with heart. Following award-winning runs in New York, Chicago, and Boston, OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON makes its 2019 debut in Los Angeles at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

Music by the PigPen Theatre Company – Photo by Jenny Anderson

The Old Man has an important job to do – and has been doing it for longer than he can recall. In fact, he doesn’t remember when he started this job – or even where he came from. For the Old Man must make sure that the moon shines every night. It seems that there is a slight leak in the moon and that it is slowly losing its glow. The Old Man must climb to the moon every night without fail to refill that glow and keep the moon a full brilliant circular ball.

Shadows within Shadows – Photo by Jenny Anderson

But alas, tragedy has befallen the Old Man’s household. His wife of many years (again, he can’t recall how long or even how they met) has disappeared. She’s taken to the sea and plans to go west as far as the eye can see. And the Old Man must follow – even if that means that his daily moon task is neglected. His epic journey is the stuff of legend as he tries desperately to reach his wife over land, sea, and the belly of a pretty big fish to return her home. His odyssey is jauntily presented by the PigPen crew, Alex Falberg, Ben Ferguson, Curtis Gillen, Ryan Melia, Matt Nuernberger, Arya Shahi, and Dan Weschler. They wrote and performed their spirited Indie-Folk score with nary a pause.

PigPen Theatre Company – Photo by Jenny Anderson

Co-directed by Stuart Carden and the PigPen Theatre Company, OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON is perfect family fare. Bring the kiddies and laugh along with them to this tuneful, clever show. The staging is truly wildly imaginative, with any and all bits and pieces serving multiple purposes a la Rube Goldberg. With a flick of the wrist, a piece of fabric morphs into a boat or even a helium balloon floating above the horizon. A crew of men can become a magical schooner; and a dark space, a huge fish belly. In other words, anything can happen and does. OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON epitomizes the magic of theater with foot-tapping melodies, sleight-of-hand transformations, and puppets in and out of the shadows. This is an entertaining, sweet, and charming production which will delight the kids and amuse their families.

PigPen Theatre Company – Photo by Jenny Anderson

OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON runs through March 17, 2019, with performances at 7:30 on weekdays, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays (no performance on Tuesday, March 12). The Bram Goldsmith Theater is located in the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Tickets range from $25 to $85. For information and reservations, call 310-746-4000 or go online.

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