Out of the Box


On Friday, my toddler and I once again returned to the Esplanade for Out of the Box, a PLAYtime! production. (Earlier this year, we saw Hello Yasmin and Let’s Play Pretend.)

PLAYtime! is an interactive theatre series for children aged two to four. Out of the Box, in which three friends transform a cardboard box into many splendid, incredible things, is directed by Chow Keat Yeng and features music by Stan X Soap. It was, tbh, our least favorite of the three PLAYtime! productions we have seen. Out of the Box did not feature inspiring performances or offer inventive tunes as previous shows have. Out of the Box lacked a strong narrative; the production leapt from song to song, scene to scene, with little narrative transition, and both my child and I found it difficult to follow. Also, I was decidedly not amused by a faux-martial arts-fighting turtle, whose “hai-yas” were accompanied by an Oriental riff, and a castanet-weilding “crrrrrrab,” who yelled “¡Hola!” more than once. There is no need to trade tired stereotypes for laughs!

Out of the Box‘s strengths were its colorful, multimedia set, assembled entirely of—what else?—cardboard boxes, and its inclusion of the audience in inventive ways, a true hallmark of PLAYtime! productions.

Out of the Box closes on August 21. Weekday performances are at 9:30AM and 11AM. Weekend performances are at 11AM, 2PM, and 4PM.