Friday Find: Yellow Fever

I grew up going to a lot of community theater.  My mom loves theater, and she made sure we went to whatever community production we could find in our small suburb.  Very occasionally we even went into the city for a real show at the Chicago Auditorium.  All the shows we saw were fun, but the few professional shows we saw were really quite extraordinary.

yellowfeverI am embarrassed to note that it had been years since I’ve seen anything outside of children’s theater until this week.  A friend recommended a show at the Guthrie, and we jumped at the opportunity to do something new.

Yellow Fever” turned out to be a great show for non-theater people like us. It took on serious topics without taking itself too seriously.

It is a comic mystery set in 1970’s Vancouver that explores the racism of the era and the lasting effects of Japanese interment camps during World War II.

Here are a few reviews of note:

  • Play off the Page recommends it “for the laughs, the mystery, the colorful characters, and the parts that make you think.”
  • The CityPages review was mixed, but it notes that it is a mix of humor and more important issues.
  • How Was the Show recommended the show saying “The trick with this play is to capture the era capturing another era, playing to an audience of another era – without flat-out stereotypes marking the path.  This production does this deftly; we get the laughs – and we get the point.”

The show runs through March 24th, and I recommend it.

I have to admit that part of my enjoyment came from revisiting a part of my childhood that always felt magical.  And knowing how excited my mom would be when I told her all about it.  :)

Spot-on Saturday at the Walker

We arrived at the Walker Art Center just in time on Saturday afternoon.  “Milly and Tillie” was just about to begin.  The performance, part of the Free First Saturday program, was put on by Open Eye Figure Theater, and it was fabulous.  Read: my three-year-old loved it.  She clapped enthusiastically, and sometimes spontaneously in the middle of bits she really liked.  As we filed out of the cinema with the rest of the crowd, we talked about our favorite parts. Hers: “when they danced silly.”  For me, it was the tribute to the imagination.  Not to mention, watching the kiddo enjoy herself.   According to Open Eye’s web site, “Milly and Tillie” will be playing throughout July.  I highly recommend it.  Here’s a taste:

We also enjoyed the art activity of the day, which involved using a word wheel to find our inspiration.  Ladybug spun vigorously, and she landed on “Jumping Lunchbox,” which she found quite hilarious.  This is what she came up with:

Kudos to the Walker for such a great program!  Sometimes the activities and shows are too complex for my preschooler, but this one was spot on.  She woke up this morning asking if we could visit the Walker again, and Milly and Tillie are her favorite new friends.

We can’t wait to see what the next Free First Saturday will bring!