Saturday, March 05, 2016
ArtsEmerson Continues To Delight With "The Wong Kids In The Secret Of The Space Chupacabra Go!" by Ma-Yi Theatrer Company
ArtsEmerson has invited to Boston the innovative troupe of Ma-Yi Theater Company to present their play "The Wong Kids" by Lloyd Suh. The play uses live actors and puppets to tell a story that is basically an allegory that addresses issues of bullying and being comfortable in one's skin. Brother and sister Bruce (Alton Alburo) and Violet (Sasha Diamond) are both misfits in their own way, and express the usual amount of sibling rivalry and teasing. But one day they discover that they have secret powers: the ability to lift objects with their minds and the ability to breath in outer space. These special gifts make them the perfect choice to be sent on a mission to save the universe and to battle the cosmically bullying villain, The Chupacabra. Along they way, they encounter a number of persons and creatures, some of whom are there to help them, and others are intent on hindering them in their quest.
Playwright Suh and Director Ralph B. Pena have concocted a wonderful two-tiered story. The basic lessons are accessible to even young children as good and evil collide. But along the way, there are speeches and dialogues that use fancy vocabulary and nuanced concepts that tell the adults in the audience that this story is for them, as well. The overall feel of the play is similar to that of a well-told Pixar tale - storytelling at its best.
The combination of puppetry and live acting makes for a delightful day at the theater. In addition to Mr. Alburo and Ms. Diamond, cast members include George West Carruth, Matthew Gunn Park, Jon Hoche and Kate Marley. Set design is by Meredith Ries, Costumes by Becky Bodurtha, Lighting by Paul Whitaker, Sound by Shane Rettig and Puppet Design by David Valentine.
The show must close this Sunday, so act quickly and treat yourself and your kids or grandkids to a memorable theater experience.