Review: Everything Under The Moon (World Stage)

Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre stages Everything Under The Moon, a fantastical visual performance for all ages

Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2012 season begins with Everything Under the Moon, an adventure tale pairing hand-animated projected image with narrative song at the Enwave Theatre.

Undertaken by visual and performance artist Shary Boyle and songwriter and performer Christine Fellows, Everything Under the Moon is part of the Fresh Ground new works programme, which seeks artists who don’t normally set out to create child-friendly performances. The result can be described as performance art for kids.

The show tells the story of a honeybee, Idared, and a brown bat, Limbertwig, on an urgent quest to save themselves and their respective species. On their journey they encounter an owl, a man, a woolly mammoth, a mummified child and a top-hat wearing spider. Everything Under The Moon intends to touch on themes of loss, environmental threat, adaptation and the restorative powers of friendship and community.

Does it deliver on those themes? I wasn’t sure. I personally found the story to be a little lacking. It’s quite confusing, and I often didn’t understand why the characters were taking certain actions to complete their quest. It didn’t flow for me, although maybe “kids these days” don’t necessarily need the story to do so.

The show’s visual aspect is the impressive part of Everything Under The Moon, utilizing a combination of multiple overhead projectors, costumes and puppets. It was really interesting watching how the story would be told next – they would switch from hand-painted images to giant lighted puppet heads to shadow puppets and beyond in rapid succession. This becomes especially intriguing to the eye because it utilizes the entire room, and not just the stage. I found it interesting to watch the projectionists (who have a place in the audience) just to see how everything was being done.

The show’s visuals are paired with an original score performed on xylophone, timpani, Wurlitzer, ukulele, cello, trumpet, percussion and narrative song. The score both punctuates the action and progresses the narrative, and the sheer number of instruments the performers could play was impressive, to say the least.

Everything Under the Moon has a running time of 55 minutes.

Details:

Everything Under The Moon is playing at the Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay West
– Performance dates: Sun. Feb. 19, 2012: 2 p.m. (Skate & Show packages available), Mon. Feb. 20, 2012: 2 p.m. (Skate & Show packages available), Wed. Feb. 22, 2012: 10 a.m. and Thu. Feb. 23, 2012: 7 p.m.
– Tickets are $15, or $10 for children 12 and under.
– Tickets are available at the Harbourfront Box Office. Call 416-973-4000, email tickets@harbourfrontcentre.com or visit harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage.
– Skate & Show packages feature 2 adult and 2 child tickets to either the Feb. 19 or 20 performance of Everything Under the Moon, 4 skate rentals and a $15 voucher for LakesideEATS all for $65. Contact the Box Office and ask for the “Skate and Show” package.

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