Monday, March 07, 2011

JAMIE LEVINE’S SHOW REVIEW: The Paper Bag Players



For more than 40 years, The Paper Bag Players, a troupe of four talented adults, have created and performed high-quality programs for children. Their shows, based on a child's everyday experiences, combine short plays, catchy songs, free-spirited dances, audience participation, mime, and plenty of fun and surprises—and their latest original, contemporary, musical theater show will continue to amuse and delight kids ages four through nine (as well as their parents!).

In Whoop-Dee-Doo!, the talented Paper Bag Players—named as such because they make their costumes and props mostly out of cardboard, brown paper, and paper bags—perform on stage for an hour—and kept my daughter and her four-year-old friend thoroughly entertained and giggling with delight for the entire show. The troupe—Ted, Laura, Amy, and Kevin—all donning brightly-colored sneakers and exuding enthusiasm and energy immediately engaged the audience with their opening number, Get to the Show, where they soared in a hot air balloon, paddled a canoe, and caught a train—with each mode of transportation created completely out of paper and cardboard.

Various vignettes featured throughout the show include stories about friends competing for customers at their cookie stands, pals spending the day on a lake fishing—and catching lots of adventure, a classroom disturbed by a little troublemaker, a little girl convincing her parents to let her keep her paper bag puppy, and more. Best of all, a short skit called Paper Bag Boogie encourages everyone to dance, including the audience—shaking, sliding, and boogieing along with the beat.

As one of The Paper Bag Players, Ted Brackett (who also directs), has articulated, “The founders of The Paper Bag Players—52 years ago—were friends. Friends with funny ideas, funny stories, and lots of energy—things are pretty much the same today.” He continued, “We’re great friends, we have lots of fun creating the show, and at every performance, we work at making the audience feel like friends too!” He and his troupe have succeeded in attaining that goal.


The Paper Bag Players: Whoop-Dee-Doo! Performances:
Kaye Playhouse
Hunter College
East 68th Street between Park and Lexington
Saturday, March 12, 2011
(212) 772-4448

Tribeca Performing Arts Center
BMCC
199 Chambers Street
Sunday, March 13, 2011
(212) 220-1460

Symphony Space
Broadway at 95th Street
Saturday, March 19, 2011
(212) 864-5400

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