#147 - Theater Review: Lido Elementary's Production of Where the Wild Things Are

The cast of Lido Elementary's Where the Wild Things Are churns out a jittery, but ultimately winning performance in the Middle School Gym

Where the Wild Things Are
, the show currently running at the Lido Elementary School (although in the Middle School gym,) reopens the case of Max vs. Max's parents as it plays out against a sprawling backdrop of year-long nautical adventures, rapid-sprouting room jungles and a gaggle of (possibly) imaginary beasties.

The show is tightly plotted, the action moves along crisply and although the whole production clocks in at a tight 26 minutes (a boon for theatergoers toting younger siblings) the action never feels cramped. This was an opening morning show, and, as you might expect, the cast would have benefited from some additional rehearsal, but I'd expect those jitters to iron themselves out as the show's run gains momentum. The musical numbers "Born to be Wild" and (spoiler alert!) "Back Home" are clear winners you'll be humming over juice boxes later in the car and although some of the Act 2 numbers seem to suffer from a lack of attentiveness and performers needing to pee, the only significant criticism I will level against the show surrounds the choreography. It is, to put it mildly, extraordinarily literal. Please, Mrs. Christianson, give us some credit as an audience. It is not necessary to have the cast mime binoculars over their eyes to accompany the lyric "lookin' for adventure" nor spend the entirety of the song "Good Bye" actually waving good bye. We are an educated public and these gestures feel like pandering. Still, overall, with an energetic cast, inventive and occasionally surprising direction and a tried and true storyline, Where the Wild Things are will prove a tasty snack for beasties both big and small.
3.5/4 stars.

Young Oliver C. turns in a risk-filled, but ultimately star-making performance as Narrator 14 of 63.


Andrew said...

Tough, but fair review

John said...

I eagerly await the national tour! Hello, Mr. Ahmanson? Have I got a show for you! Ooomf!

Anonymous said...