Pinocchio - The Musical, by Windmill Theatre
I was invited to the Opening of Pinocchio, the new show by Windmill Theatre. We all know the story about Pinocchio, and I thought this would be another cheesy production for pre-schoolers. Well, I was wrong. When I got there, nearly half the audience were adults!
It started out with an animation pictured on a big tree, made out of wood. It showed a blue person on a motorbike, speeding towards a tree and then crashing. Then Geppetto cut the tree down and started carving it into a puppet. Then some kids start teasing him about talking to his toys. They say “Crazy man, crazy man, talking to his toys”. But he shouts back, “One day they will talk back!”
And they did.
All the music was live. I remember four great songs from this show. They were “Run away, Blow away, Break away”, “I Know”, “You get Lazy/You Get Crazy” and “Sign Here”. All of the band was wearing weird bunny hats and they were up in one of the theatre wings. The costumes were really funny, ‘cause Pinocchio and Stromboli had fake wigs that were made of felt. They were supposed to look fake. Stomboli’s face was white and had puppet-like makeup. He was living in a fantasy world.
I recently watched an Italian film of Pinocchio – all in Italian – I realized the character similarities and differences. The blue girl that helped Pinocchio, who was watching over him and helped him (in Windmill’s show) – was really the blue fairy. In Pinocchio, Cat & Fox didn’t know that they were evil, and didn’t try to be evil.
The blue girl (Blue Fairy) was played by a really petite actor, Danielle Catarazani. Wherever Pinocchio was standing on stage, she was always standing a step higher. When she got down, he was looking everywhere for her. When he eventually looked down, he put her up high again so he could look into her eyes. They sang a beautiful duet, which was a love song and they fell in love. The chorus was “If you hold hands with a Lazy Boy, you get crazy. If you hold hands with a Crazy Girl, you get Lazy”. But then she remembers that she was the girl that crashed into the tree, and that tree was Pinocchio (when he was a tree).
It was a really great show and I’m happy I went to it.
Windmill are in town right now for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a new show, School Dance.
Here’s a link to the Windmill’s Website for more on Pinocchio