The Pied Piper is coming to Carson City, sort of, on loan from the German village of Hamelin. And he's bringing a bunch of bright-eyed, enthusiastic kids with him, all joining to tell the story of getting the rats out of Hamelin but losing the town's children.
Well, you all know the story of how the 13th century town of Hamelin suffered a plague of rats. After all other methods failed, the mayor hired the Pied Piper for 1,000 florins to rid the town of its rats.
The Piper did his bit, but the mayor reneged on the 1,000 florins. So the Piper led the children out of town, and they disappeared into a cave.
So much for the original story, largely famous in the English-speaking world through the poet Robert Browning's retelling of the tale. Now we turn to the BAC Stage Kids' production of "Pied Piper of Hamelin," opening Friday at 7 p.m. at the Donald W. Reynolds Theatre at the Brewery and continuing Saturday and April 8-9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday and April 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 general admission or $5 for BAC members, seniors and students. Children 5 and under are free with an adult, if they do not occupy a seat. Call 883-1976.
Director Christopher James promised a "fun, colorful show filled with silly characters, cartoon-like costumes and a bright, colorful set, plus lots of rats!"
The show is adapted by Vera Morris from Browning's story poem.
James said, "Although bits and pieces of Browning's poem are in this children's show, our script is unlike any other. Several zany characters have been added, making the play more like a cartoon than anything. We went with the cartoon style, painted a bright colorful set, made up slapstick moves, designed fun costumes and used large, wacky props."
Producer Pat Josten said this is a show that will entertain audiences of all ages. It's a fun, fast-moving, silly show, but still leaves a positive message in the end.
Anyone seeing dress rehearsals Monday night would say that the director's comments erred on the mild side. When the town crier (Mariah Whitcome) rings her bell, she does it with such vigor and earnestness as to make up for her diminutive stature.
Nathanael Williams as the mayor is an authoritative figure, carrying the story along forcefully (aided by his blonde wife Melody Ricketts). The street sweeper and assistant do a fine, fun job of keeping the streets clean.
Often, people look at the BAC Stage Kids' productions as something that only parents and friends attend. "Pied Piper" is far from that (as are most BAC Stage Kids' shows). This is a production that is rich in youthful innocence and energy, with a nifty morale and infectious wit, well-directed and produced.
n Contact Sam Bauman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1236.