Chicago Theatre Review
Play on PigPen
Making the trek up north of Chicago can be a very daunting task for some. In fact, I’ve heard people tell me that anything past Evanston is practically Wisconsin. I am sure there are plenty even who do not dare to venture out of the city limits. However, for those of the adventurous nature, there is a story to be heard and it hails from the north in Glenco at Wrtier’s Theater.
The Old Man and the Old Moon (TOMATOM), written by PigPen Theater Company and produced by Writer’s Theater, is the tale of an old man and his duty to fill the leaking moon back up with light each night as it drips away. The old man’s wife leaves for an adventure and the old man is then forced to follow after his wife around the world. Once the old man finally arrives back home, he is then reminded of a promise he made to his wife on the day they met.
TOMATOM, is very much a classic tale but told in a modern way. With the use of puppetry, shadow puppets, re-imagined objects and music, it seems to me like it is the beginning of a new wave of storytelling, possibly musicals. I feel I can justify calling TOMATOM a musical tale because the music is propelling the story forward. It is more than just a play that has music in it. The music is indicative of what is actually happening in the tale. Ryan Melia, Alex Falberg, Matt Nuernberger, Dan Weschler, Ben Ferguson, Curtis Gillen and Arya Shahi, all members of PigPen Theatre Company, each play a variety of instruments and characters showing much versatility and creativeness to the play. The music has a very Mumford and Sons feel to it. With the use of banjos, violins, irregular percussion pieces set to a driving beat, the music has very much a folk feel to it, which correlates directly to the folk like tale it accompanies. It was like watching a music video to an entire Mumford and Sons album.
Other than some minor flaws with the inconsistency of dialects, TOMATOM is a remarkably entertaining show. From the moment you walk into the theater you are immersed into the world of the play, being surrounded by a beautifully crafted wooden set and mason jar lighting that drops from the ceiling. The play has such a genuine quality to its foundation even the roughest of souls can sit back and let the players take them away into the world they have created.
Review by Dan Haymes
The Old Man and the Old Moon begins Septmeber 3rd 2013 at Writers Theater
Located 325 Tudor Court in Glenco.
Written by: PigPen Theater Company
Directed By: Stuart Carden and PigPen Theater Company
For more information on The Old Man and the Old Moon and other shows, please visit www.theatreinchicago.com