May 25, 2020

Familiar faces teach kids, adults about environment in new Cabaret performance

Capital University’s production of “Hey, Look! A Kid’s Show (For Kids)” will take you on a wild ride through your childhood, revisiting many of the classic stories and fairy tales while putting an environmentally green spin on them. All of the material from the show, including the script, was created by the cast as they went along.

Led and directed by Capital’s own Dan Heaton, this show takes characters we know and love and develops a deeper, more encompassing storyline for them as we learn about the realities of pollution in our world.

We see classic characters such as Bigfoot, the big bad wolf, the three little pigs, Jack from “Jack and the Beanstalk” and even the beanstalk itself all play critical roles for the story. However, the plot is driven by original characters Princess Rosemary, her evil mother, and Marv the marvelous wizard.

“We had our environmental theme, but none of the script had been written yet,” Heaton said. “The theme of helping the environment was our motivation and pushed the show.”

As the show’s title suggests, it is a performance that was made for children. It is done in a way that not only relates to them and their interests, but it also is comprehensible for them. This is not to say that the performance is unenjoyable for an older audience though, as the cast was able to “marvelously” lace in quick jabs and jokes that would make anyone laugh.

“I’m excited for the kids to see this,” Dominique McIntyre, the actor who plays Granny Grains, said. “But I’m also excited because there are some dad jokes in the show, so I’m excited for those [older] people to laugh and be like ‘Oh, that was funny. I see what you did there.'”

The cast will get the opportunity to perform the show in front of an audience filled with their target audience, children, as they travel to the Columbus Montessori Education center Friday morning.

As for the rest of their performances, the Cabaret Theatre is transformed time and time again throughout this show, with bright vibrant yellows, greens, and pinks consistent in the background and props. Thanks to the guidance of Sharon Croft, the costume designer for the show, all of the characters are believably what they claim to be, as they all pass the eye test from the very first moment the lights go out and the curtain rises.

The idea of creating an entire play from scratch was enticing to the cast members, but it did provide some challenges along the way.

“It’s been a process,” bigfoot actor Nate LaGuardia said. “At first I wasn’t too sure. I was a little bit nervous about it because we got to be two to three weeks in, and we still didn’t even have a script. Normally we are off book by then … but it’s been a fun and interesting challenge.”

This show seems to have it all: humor, talent, cute and adorable interactions between characters, an important message driving the plot and an overall ability to leave a smile on the faces of all audience members in attendance. You’ll have the “pollution solution” stuck in your head for days after seeing this performance, but maybe that’s the point.

Showings for “Hey, Look! A Kid’s Show (For Kids)” will be at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening, with a final showing at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. All performances will take place in the Cabaret Theatre, which is located in the basement of the student union. Students can reserve tickets at the box office in the Cabaret Theatre for free by providing their student ID.

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