Just imagine a roomful of youngsters being encouraged to stand, yell, wave their arms, make specific noises, and scare their compatriots in the auditorium, while their adult chaperones follow suit and get entirely involved in “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Kansas City’s famous children’s theatre, The Coterie Theatre, on the lower level of Crown Center, welcomes sold out performances of younger audiences for the highly successful two person show, “Where the Wild Things Are.” Kansas City actors, Lauren Braton and Teddy Trice recently stepped into the starring roles for the balance of the K.C. run, through May 7.
Braton just oozed charm as she presents the role of narrator and mother of Max, enthusiastically performed by Teddy Trice. Together, they create the magic that fills the audience members with squeals of giggles, bursts of laughter, scads of funny faces, boundless audience participation, and heightened attention as the audience works hard to perform what is asked of them by the two characters in the play.
Braton, mostly known for her vocal talents in various venues around town departs from the normal performances in presenting a non-singing charmer who welcomes the audience and then dives into the well-loved children’s story with gusto. Trice, seen previously in smaller Coterie roles, scored some major breakout roles in the past year at The Unicorn Theatre and with Kansas City Actors Theatre. He returns to his children’s performances with an endearing turn as Max, whose imagination fills the auditorium and entraps the audience in helping him bring Max’s imagination to active–really active–life.
“Where the Wild Things Are” is based on the book of the same name, written by Maurice Sendak and is a Presentation House Theatre Production that was originally adapted for theater by TAG Theatre of Glasgow, Scotland, according to information provided by The Coterie. This particular production is directed by Kim Selody, Artistic Director, Presentation House Theatre. “Where the Wild Things Are” runs through May 7, with many performances already at capacity.
“Maurice Sendak’s 1963 enchanting literary classic, ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ comes to life on stage in an intimate guided storytelling adventure” a spokesman for The Coterie said. “As part of the show, young audience members are drawn into the performance to help transform Max’s bedroom into a forest, then become Max’s benevolent monster friends, and are encouraged to ‘let the Wild Rumpus begin!’ After Max is ultimately crowned ruler, the audience also helps bring him safely home.”
And, the rumpus does begin as Trice encourages his young compatriots to shake their hands, shake their ‘bums,’ roar, jump up and down, and celebrate. “Where the Wild Things Are,” brings audience participation to the max, with Max leading the charge and encouraging more, more, and more interaction.
The hour-long play enchants the audience from the first moments when Lauren Braton steps on stage and explains the guidelines and starts the audience participation interaction. She helps get the small fry and chaperones all engaged and active. She encourages the audience to find the “wild thing” within their head and then release it, before tossing it into her invisible bag. But, fear not. There are plenty more wild things within each individual.
Grab the kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces, neighbors, and make reservations to insure a seat to this charming production. Not a frown appears during the show. And, at the end, each attendee gets a chance to meet Max as they exit the theatre auditorium.
Many say only death and taxes are guaranteed, new guarantees to add to the list, fun, laughs, screams, and interaction when you attend The Coterie’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” The Coterie scores high marks for the kid-friendly, family-friendly production. Absolutely fabulous comes closest to describing this production.
“Where the Wild Things Are” continues at The Coterie Theatre on the lower level of Kansas City, Missouri’s Crown Center and offers an extraordinary opportunity to introduce younger audiences to professional theater. Due to extreme ticket demand, plan ahead and secure tickets ahead of time. Tickets, calendar dates, performance times, individual and group ticket pricing can all be found through The Coterie website.