Yesterday, for what is likely the last time*, The Preschooler and I returned to the Esplanade for PLAYtime!’s latest production, The Magic Jungle. PLAYtime! is an interactive theatre series for children aged two to four. The Magic Jungle, which invites children on an adventure to a very Southeast Asian jungle with a tapir, a sambar deer, a sloth, and a hornbill, is directed by Ian Loy and features memorable music by Stan X Soap.
This production was rather different than previous ones that we have seen—in a good way! The play was wordless for the most part, and the actors’ gestures and movements forwarded much of the narrative. Chelsea Crothers, who played the deer and the sloth, was quite exceptional! Stan X Soap’s compositions featured Asian instruments, such as the slenthem and the tabla, and Asian vocal elements, such as lyrics in Bahasa Indonesia sung by Venytha Yoshiantini. And the cast was truly diverse which, I suspect, kept the offensive “humor” that has plagued previous productions at bay.
The Magic Jungle closed its run today, but do look out for it as I know it will be staged again!
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* She’s outgrowing these productions, nothing more; she was, for the first time, not enchanted by with PLAYtime!’s colorful, interactive elements.