Bloomington's Professional Theater Company

Bloomington's Professional Theater Company

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The Herald-Times on The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Step into the wardrobe with Cardinal for Kids

By Joel Pierson
September 2, 2018

If you think la Clanche du Rand is a moderately priced white wine, you may need to take a journey through the wardrobe. Because this ain’t the wine column, kids, it’s the theater column, and le Clanche is the playwright who adapted C. S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” into a one-act imaginative stage play for kids. Cardinal Stage debuts it this week as the first show of their 2018-19 season, and it’s created with kids age four and up in mind.

With a running time of just an hour, it’s the ideal length for younger audience members, and the story is familiar to parents and caregivers as well, so they won’t feel left out of the adventure. And what an adventure it is! The Pevensie children — Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund — discover a portal to a magical kingdom by going through their armoire. Man, if my furniture did that, I’d never complain about IKEA again.

Once in the vast and disturbingly chilly land of Narnia, the kids meet a faun named Tumnus, a white witch who just can’t get enough of winter, and a talking lion named Aslan, who may or may not be their savior, depending on how ecclesiastically you read Lewis’s texts. Ah, but this is no leisure trip, because the kingdom is in the midst of a contentious battle, and four English schoolchildren may be just the secret weapon needed to tip the scales to the side of right.

Those familiar with the story will expect a huge cast to populate this enchanted kingdom, but behold! Four actors take on all the roles by themselves. Anna Butler, Courtney Reid-Harris, Jake McCutcheon and Trevor Purkiser portray the Pevensie clan, but they also don exotic costumes and masks to assume the roles of the individuals they meet in Narnia. That actually works well for children’s theater, as it gives them a few core individuals to focus on, without getting confused by a big cast. (I’m looking at you, “Game of Thrones.”)

So, for the child in your house and/or the child in your heart, take yourself to the Waldron Auditorium. Step through the wardrobe. (Metaphorically speaking, of course. Please don’t come up on stage unless you’re invited.) And discover, along with the Pevensies, that love is the deepest magic of all.

Contact Joel by sending an email to [email protected]with “Pierson” in the subject line.

If you go

WHO: Cardinal Stage

WHAT: “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, adapted by la Clanche du Rand

WHERE: Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium, 122 S. Walnut St., Bloomington

WHEN: 6 p.m. Sept. 7, 14 and 21; 1 p.m. Sept. 8-9, 1-16 and 22-23; 4 p.m. Sept. 8-9, 15-16 and 22.

TICKETS: $12.95-$21.95. Available at www.cardinalstage.org.