If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: A Marvelous ‘Tail’ of Mischief and Mayhem
by Mina Frannea
Mischievous Mouse, Karl Schaeffer, punctuates humorous lines with finely tuned physical comedy that keeps the audience (kids and grownups alike!) chuckling throughout the performance. Playing a young boy who is home alone and warned not to make a mess, Scott Zenreich does a fabulous job dealing with and reacting to the escalating mayhem created by the Mouse, and is the perfect foil for Schaeffer’s kooky antics.
Based on the children’s book by Laura Numeroff, the stage adaptation of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie uses skillfully created, oversized props to create a believable setting for this wonderful production directed by Nancy Schaeffer. It’s easy to see that set designer Randel Wright put a lot of thought into the details that went into creating the sets, from the magnets and notes posted on the refrigerator to the gathered skirts that covered the cabinets under the sink. Nicely done!
A highlight of the show for my eight-year-old son was the mirror scene where the Mouse does a funny skit with his “mirror image” (played by Schaeffer’s son). This scene was reminiscent of the classic Marx Brothers mirror scene. My husband and I really enjoyed it too!
Our daughter loved the jungle adventure scene in which the Mouse does aerial silk stunts. Schaeffer actually studied for scenes that required circus arts with Fanny Kerwich, founder of the Lone Star Circus School. Read my interview with Fanny.
Although this was essentially a two man show, everything about it felt like a full bodied production. The show is suggested for ages 4 and up, but I think children as young as 3 will enjoy it because the performances are constant and the dialogue is easy to understand. The entire production is about an hour long and includes a 15 minute intermission.
Because it was opening night, attendees enjoyed a special treat of cookies and milk during intermission from Tiff’s Treats, one of the night’s sponsors. Tiff’s Treats also gave away 12 chances to win a delivery of a dozen, warm cookies! Although we didn’t win, we did enjoy our YUMMY snack!
Opening night is always so much fun at the Dallas Children’s Theater! The twins loved wearing their pajamas at the opening night party for Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Bad Good Day. At the double opening night event for Madeline’s Christmas and The Nutcracker, DCT invited the children’s choir of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to perform, in addition to hosting other fun activities.
For the “Mouse” opening night party, we enjoyed ongoing entertainment by Lone Star Circus School students and our twins had a blast trying their hand at juggling scarves, balancing a plate on a stick and a peacock feather on their nose, and hula hooping.
The twins also enjoyed the post show meet & greet and autograph session, a special part of the whole theater experience for all Dallas Children’s Theater productions!
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was REALLY great and marvelously funny! Go see it! The show is playing through February 26th.
If you want to save a few bucks, consider getting a season ticket for the remaining shows in the 2011 – 2012 season. You can buy a package for 3, 4 or 5 shows together. Individual show tickets are also available. Visit the Dallas Children’s Theater website for more info.
Mina Frannea is a Mom to eight-year-old twins and enjoys writing about life in general, family friendly activities around town, favorite recipes and crafts that keep her children busy and happy. For more posts by Mina, visit her blog at www.themomsjournal.com.
Disclosure: Dallas Children’s Theater invited my family to this performance of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The above represents my personal opinion.
Image Credit #1 -3: Karen Almond Photography