My heading for this one might be a bit of a misnomer. After all, if you are familiar with Narnia you know that it is the land where it always snows but there is no Christmas. At least until the end … oops, hope I didn’t give anything away. :-) Last night was opening night for Narnia at the Rose Theater in Omaha. Since I already posted that I was in Beatrice last night, you might be thinking that I am some sort of magician myself – managing to be two places at once. But no, the Rose has granted me permission to share portions of their press releases and photographs to give you a sneak peak to the show.
First, my pretend press release …
Who: Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy and a whole host of imaginative creatures including Mr. Beaver, Tumnis and of course the White Witch
What: A musical representation of the land beyond
Where: The wardrobe of course which keeps them connected to Narnia
When: No one is quite sure of the passage of time. They can enter Narnia and be gone for what seems like quite a length then come back to only a few minutes seeming to have passed.
Why: Mainly Lucy and then Edmund are the ones who return
How does Narnia change the 4 Pevensies? How do they change Narnia? (Yes, that is the last name of the 4 children – definitely news to me!)
What is the basis of Narnia?
“On one level, Narnia is a simple fairy tale,“ says guest director Jesse Jou. “But like so many ‘simple’ fairy tales, it has some serious things to say about how we live in the world. The story tackles some pretty big questions about ethics, faith, the nature of violence, and ultimately, grace.”
What type of growth do you see in the children throughout the play?
“There is a heart of seriousness to the story that I want to honor,” says Jou. “It is a show for children, but it is a show that tells children how to grow up. For children so small, they have to grow up quite a lot in the play. The journey teaches these children the strength, courage, and resiliency to become good, noble adults, especially when things are very hard.”
What is different about this show and why should you go to see a performance (or two)?
Audiences can expect a performance that is both entertaining and visually engaging. Heavily influenced by the Art Nouveau movement and celebrated painter Charles Rennie Macintosh, scenic designer Edward Matthew Walter has given Narnia a strong visual signature that evokes the land’s beauty and majesty with a unique Art Deco design. Coupled with lighting designer Kyle Toth’s juxtaposition of light and shadow as a nod to the story’s overall theme of good versus evil, the set provides the perfect framework for this classic tale.
“It is beautiful, but if you look closer, things might not be what they actually seem,” said Toth. “This world has been under a spell by a witch who has locked us into a forever winter. I wanted to give the idea that everything in Narnia used to be something sparkly and pristine, but it has given way to decay under the White Witch’s rule.”
“All the elements of the show come together to create a densely textured experience that allows us to tell the story of adventure, loyalty, childhood and faith,” said Jou. “In the end, we hope to create something that reverberates humanity back to us. It will be dark, a little scary, but in the end, really, really beautiful.”
Opening night was last night, but you have until December 29th to catch a performance of Narnia. I would not wait too long to at least get tickets, as two of the shows are already sold out. Due to the intensity of certain parts of the storyline, the recommended ages for this show are six to thirteen. Tickets: $20-$25 reserved seats. Call (402) 345-4849 or purchase online at www.rosetheater.org. Discount ticket vouchers and a Roberts Dairy special purchase offer are available at Hy-Vee. See Hy-Vee customer service for details. Reservations are required.