The Night Fairy
- playing at Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD)
- dates: now through October 26, 2014
- directed by Jeremy Skidmore
- Roar Score: 4/5
Flory is a Night Fairy who is attacked by a bat. When her wings are damaged in the struggle, she is forced to learn how to survive in the daylight among the other birds and animals in a typical backyard. During her adventures, Flory makes new friends and eventually reconciles with her foe. By the time her wings begin to sprout back, Flory has discovered a renewed sense of creativity, diplomacy, and resilience that she never knew she had.
It’s no secret that we love Imagination Stage. We’ve been to nearly every show since Zoey was old enough to sit still, and her favorite play ever was an Imagination Stage production (Anime Momotaro–which also happens to be the best children’s theater performance I’ve ever seen).
Upon first seeing The Night Fairy poster at a performance of The BFG, Zoey was hooked. She had to see it.
The show didn’t disappoint, but I wasn’t really worried about that. We’ve never been disappointed in Imagination Stage.
The stage design and costumes are relatively minimal, but that’s not a criticism. The entire feel of this show is more or less minimal. And it works. According to director Jeremy Skidmore:
I wanted to create a playful, abstract world that challenges young theatergoers to use their imaginations to fill in the gaps between what they are actually seeing on stage and what is being left out completely.
Indeed, a lot of the action happens off stage and in our imaginations. Shadows sometimes hint at what we’re left to imagine (such as the “giants” who lurk in the backyard), and most of the time this works incredibly well.
The show is also very quiet, which–combined with the minimalist stage and story–might be a challenge for the very youngest kids, but my 3-year-old was engaged throughout. And he’s sometimes difficult to impress.
Tia Shearer excels as the Night Fairy, and it came as no surprise that she also portrayed a favorite character in Anime Momotaro. Zoey still giggles as she says, “Shabu…shabu…shabu shabu shabu shabu!” (Yes, I know this reference is probably lost on most of you.)
If you’re in the DC area, a trip to Imagination Stage is almost always recommended. If you have time before October 26, I’d certainly recommend checking out The Night Fairy before it closes. Get tickets here.
Next up is 101 Dalmatians, which runs from November 19 through January 11. We’re looking forward to it!