Summertime is the perfect time for days in the park and afternoons at the pool, but sometimes you just need a break from the sunscreen and the rays (and not to mention the extreme Georgia humidity!). Well lucky for you, the Center for Puppetry Arts has an entrancing performance currently playing that will transport your little ones from your neighborhood pool to the ocean’s depths.
the performance: The Little Pirate Mermaid
The Little Mermaid, which runs now through July 17, is introduced by a large mermaid who snares the young audience’s attention straightaway. Seconds later, the stage is unveiled and the puppet magic begins!
Sidewinding away from the traditional Disney rendition, this tale follows Molly, a beautiful mermaid, on her sixteenth birthday. Her loving parents allow her to swim to the surface on her special day, but not without specific instructions: Above all else, she must not come in contact with a pirate. She swims to the top only to see (blimey!) a band of pirates fighting the British Navy. Pirate Captain Calico Jim is thrown overboard, and Molly rescues him, bringing him back to life with a song and a kiss.
After returning to sea, she realizes that she wants nothing more than to be a pirate and marry Calico Jim. She runs away from home and sells her voice to the old sea hag (sound familiar, anyone?) so that she can become a pirate. Molly does indeed become a pirate on Calico Jim’s ship (even though she can only say “Arggh!”). Soon, she becomes the captain herself and reinvents the mission of the buccaneers.
(Spoiler alert!) In the end, Molly is turned back into a mermaid and marries Calico Jim; there is now peace between the mermaids and the pirates. And we can assume, like any of our other favorite fairy tales, that they live happily ever after.
The plot of the show is easy to follow, even for young audience members (suggested age is 4 and up), and the cast is full of engaging characters. The Center for Puppetry Arts utilizes various types and sizes of puppets, fresh lighting techniques (strobe lights!), and set changes (pirate ships!) that will keep your restless children focused throughout the hour-long show. (It’s a summertime miracle!)
As if the humorous, rhythmic dialogue and battle scenes (with the aforementioned strobe lights) aren’t cool enough, the musical numbers throughout the performance keep things grooving along.
Before you are released to check out the museum or go to the create-a-puppet workshop, the cast explains the puppets and shows the audience how the set works. The entire experience takes about an hour and a half — the perfect amount of time to beat the heat and enjoy a little theatrical kiddie culture this summer.
Dates | Now through July 17th
Cost | $20.50 for nonmembers and only $10.25 for members
Tickets | Call the sales office at 404-873-3391 or purchase online
Center for Puppetry Arts | 1404 Spring Street Atlanta, GA 30309 | limited free parking at the Center for Puppetry Arts