This Harlequinade version of Pinocchio is one of his theatre's most successful productions. Simons uses the original Italian commedia names, such as Arlecchino, who later became the French Harlequin. The name "Pinocchio" may be spoken with its true Italian pronunciation as pee-no-kee-o. In true commedia fashion, this wild and uninhibited play begins with a troupe of strolling players exploding into the theatre with their noisy props and crude scenery. Arlecchino plays a Cricket; Pantalone plays Geppetto; Razullo, a fox; Beltrama, a cat; Pulcinella, the wicked puppet master; Pedrolina, a donkey and a fool; Columbina, a spirit and Pinocchio plays himself.
The commedia flavor gives the story vigor and makes it entertainment for adults as well as children without losing the charm and significant message of Collodi's famous story.
Summer Production: "Pinocchio Commedia"
Fall Production: "Steel Magnolias"
Truvy Jones runs a successful beauty salon in Chinaquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies in the neighborhood have a standing appointment. Along with her anxious and eager assistant, Annelle, Truvy styles the hair of many of the women about town: wealthy widow and former first lady of Chinaquapin, Clairee Belcher, local curmudgeon Ouiser Boudreaux ("I'm not crazy, I've just been in a bad mood for forty years"), intelligent and compassionate career woman M'Lynn and her daughter Shelby, the prettiest girl in town. Shelby's engagement is the talk of the town, but the joy and excitement of her wedding quickly turn to concern as she faces a risky pregnancy and a myriad of health complications. Eventually, when Shelby dies from complications related to her diabetes, M'Lynn has to deal with the most difficult of life's challenges: the loss of one's only child. As the women of Chinaquapin make their ways over life's many hurdles together, they find comfort (and a fair amount of verbal ribbing) in one another. "You have no idea how wonderful you are," M'Lynn tells the ladies at the end of the play. Truvy responds, with a smile, "Of course we do."
Shiner Gaslight Theatre
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