One of the hallmarks of a really good story is the range of its appeal: the more people who can enjoy it, the better. With three widely-familiar, family-friendly productions playing simultaneously in Fort Wayne (and how often does that happen?) you may need a little help in deciding which one(s) to invest in. Here are 10 great reasons to bring your family to see all for One's The Wind in the Willows, playing at the PPG ArtsLab theater November 4-13.
Reason No. 10: It's not a true musical, though it does have several songs in it, including a Christmas carol or two, so it's likely shorter, making for an easier evening for families with young children. The Wind in the Willows runs about 90 minutes plus intermission, and our curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, making the whole experience under two hours long.
No. 9: Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows is an acknowledged classic work of children's literature from the early 20th century, the genre's golden age. But unlike A.A. Milne's Pooh stories, Beatrix Potter's little books and favorites such as A Little Princess, Grahame's work is not widely read today, at least not in America. See the play; you get extra points for introducing your family painlessly to a classic.
No. 8: The cast includes a diverse mix of men and women, boys and girls, most of whom have lengthy stage resumés. Not only will everyone find a character to relate to, the performances are strong.
No. 7: Animals! All but four of the characters in the story are animals, wearing human clothes and fanciful face paint. Delight your inner child by imagining yourself as one of the characters in the story.
No. 6: Some moral ambiguity will give parents and children something to discuss after the play is over. Should Toad be punished further? Is he truly reformed?
No. 5: It is riotously funny. The weasels and ferrets are properly bumbling villains, and Mr. Toad of Toad Hall is so boastful and such a terrible motorcar driver that comic mayhem is a given.
No. 4: The story contains very strong portrayals of loyal friendship, the sort that goes out on a limb to help a pal in need, but also speaks truthfully about that friend's faults.
No. 3: Colorful costumes! A storybook set! An epic climactic battle scene!
No. 2: Although over a dozen adaptations of this book exist, this is the first time in our memory that any of them has been done in Fort Wayne. Come see a unique area premiere!
No. 1: all for One produces excellent, thought-provoking and values-rich theater every season. Our patrons are treated like family, and we look forward to welcoming all of you, new friends and old. You've been meaning to see an afO show for awhile now, right? This would be a great choice for your first experience with us, no matter what your age. But bring some kids with you, too. Their giggles will increase your own enjoyment even more.