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Imagination Stage rarely brings back plays. However, The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe is too good too keep in the dark for too long. To celebrate their 40th Anniversary Imagination Stage is remounting their whimsical, magical, and beautiful 2012 award winning production and we are all the lucky recipients of this gift.
I have read the book by C.S. Lewis, watched the movie, and even seen this play before and I can confidently say that the story of the The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, otherwise known as the Chronicles of Narnia, never gets old. To recap the story, four children named Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund are sent to the countryside to keep them safe from bombings in London during WWII. While exploring the country house they wander through an old wardrobe and discover the land of Narnia, which is controlled by the evil White Witch who turns her enemies into stone and wishes to stop the four siblings before they take over the kingdom and take away her power. Along the way they are helped by the noble lion Aslan who proves that he is able to sacrifice everything for the children, who eventually assume the four thrones of Narnia and save the kingdom from the White Witch.
Imagination Stage’s version of this classic tale is unlike anything you have seen before. Each child is played both by an actor/singer and a dancer who are dressed identically. At times the characters trade-off so only one is on the stage at a time and at other times the two artists as the same character interact, including a wonderful scene during which actor Edmund sings about the alienation he feels from his brother and sisters while dancer Edmund dramatically shows how Edmund is feeling. Having dancers as such an integral part of the play also brings grace and depth to other characters, such as the White Witch and Thomas. I was a little concerned that this might be confusing for my children, ages 4 and 9, but they had no problem following the story and keeping track of the characters since their identical clothing made it very clear which character was on stage, regardless of whether they were an actor or dancer. Another element of this production that makes it unique is the use of puppets. Aslam the Lion is portrayed by a larger-then-life multi-faceted puppet and there are smaller puppets used as well.
The show also has all of the elements of a perfect holiday play, including falling snow, Santa and elves, memorable songs, and plenty of wonder and joy. A trip to Narnia would make a fantastic outing over winter break and tickets under the tree would be a special gift the entire family can enjoy together.
My children and I really enjoyed the show. Each child had a different favorite character, which speaks to how well every character is developed and portrayed. Once child admired Lucy’s creativity and bravery, one empathized with Edmund’s feelings around not always getting along with his siblings, and one was most impressed with Aslan’s leadership and selflessness.
Good to know:
- November 23 2019 -January 5 2020
- Best for ages 5+
- Tickets can be purchased here and are $15 – $35 dollars
- Parking is available at meters on the street or at the parking garage on the same block. Garage parking is free on weekends.
- Imagination Stage has a soundproof booth with a view of the stage and sound for children who may become antsy
- After the show extend your day by eating at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants within walking distance.
- Running time is approximately 75 minutes
- A sensory-friendly performance will be held on December 15th and an ASL interpreted performance on January 5th.
By: Jamie Davis Smith
Our Kids was provided with complimentary tickets to the play, but all opinions are our own.