Hello again from Elliot Lake! It’s Director Liz Kanski giving you the latest on our shows being presented by Elliot Lake’s Roundabout Exceptional Puppeteers. It’s just about show time, as we practice to get everything just right to perform on the big stage. This year, we will be performing each 50 minute show with an intermission in between, at the Civic Center. We would like to invite all out-of-towners, as well as Elliot Lake and area to come and join us.
We will be performing The Circle of Life and The Good, The Bad and the Time Lord. Our first performance is a matinee, designed for out of town people on, Sunday, April 30th, at 2 pm. Therefore, you can have a beautiful drive to Elliot Lake and get home before dark. During Education Week, we will performing our shows for all the schools, Tuesday, May 2nd at 9:30 am. Usually we go to all the schools and senior centers in and around the community, but this year both our shows are too big to travel with. We will finish with another public performance at 7 pm. that same night. It will be exhausting, but better than the 19 shows we performed last year!
Just to recap what our plays and our group is all about. Our performers are all, mentally or physically handicapped and sing, dance and act with puppets to written material that we come up with our selves. We record the music and stories for the group to perform to.
The Circle of Life, is all about The Lion King, done with Life size animal puppets that will be entering the stage from the aisles through the audience and then going up on stage. A crocodile, wilde beast, antelopes, a huge pink flamingo and others birds, a gigantic giraffe, leopard and prancing zebra will enter the scene for the christening of the baby lion, Simba, on Pride Rock. Each puppet is individually made to be worn by each member of the cast and their costumes depict original African Batik designs. They all perform the opening number The Circle of Life similar to the Broadway Lion King musical.
The next number has a life size puppet of Pocahontas singing, The Colours of the Wind to a back lit presentation of wild life images.
Cast members then come out, led by CJ on guitar and Alice as lead vocal and sing songs from Australia, describing their unique animals and their aboriginal instrument the didgeridoo (which some in my cast try to play). Audience participation is always required.
The next song has Pumbaa and Timon hamming up the song Stand By Me.
Followed by a Circus Act, all about Dr. Dolittle and his Push-Me-Pull-You, in You’ve Never seen anything Like It! If you thought the life-size animals in the first part were hard to make… the Push-Me Pull-You, two headed Lama, was a nightmare!
The final story is about Dr. Dolittle and the Moving Island.
The Doctor and his niece Jane, get shipwrecked on a moving Island and you guessed it, they meet Tarzan,
talk to the animals, cure their colds and save the gorillas, not to mention reuniting Pumbaa, Timon and all the stranded animals on the Island with Simba, the now adult Lion King.
The Island is reunited off the coast of Africa to the mainland by a helpful whale, so that is how we come full Circle, ending with everyone singing the song Hakuna Mattata.
The Good , The Bad and the Time Lord, is all about the Iconic Tenth Doctor Who (David Tennant), traveling through time in his Tardis, beginning in the Old West.
There, he helps John Wayne and Clint Eastwood destroy a strange robot named, Yul Brenner (Westworld) and his War Wagon full of gold.
Next the Doctor lands on the Star Ship Enterprise and helps Captain Kirk and crew defeat the Daleks.
After that, Dr. Who appears in the Museum of Natural History, where he meets Maleficent and her daughter Mal (from Disney’s Descendants) and helps King Arthur and Lancelot defeat Maleficent, as a dragon, who is guarding a frozen Merlin (a former Time Lord).
The Doctor then convinces Mal to become his new companion and they go to Egypt and meet Indiana Jones to solve the mystery of Cleopatra’s necklace.
Finally, they travel to the time of Robin Hood and help and him and his merry men, defeat the Cybermen, who are controlling King John.
At last the Doctor asks Mal where she would like to go next. Mal (still dressed as Maid Marion ) has a crush on Robin Hood, who all of a sudden knocks on the outside of the Tardis doors. Then all craziness ensues as the Tardis is boarded by people from all the time periods they had just travelled to, as well as, Doctor Who 4 (long Scarf) and Dr. Who 12 who also end up on the Tardis. When all are on board they end up with Maleficent in the Museum of Natural History, and that is where the story ends. All are frozen as wax sculptures and a cleaning lady comes out at to dust all the statues.
I have to say of the 2 shows the Dalek was one of the hardest things to make. Our one white screen on stage, allows us to do backgrounds easily with a projector (up graded from our old overhead machine) and still allows us the opportunity to do shadow plays for the special effects, lighting and mime. With our shows, the director is never done. Because at least 5 of our members are hearing impaired or deaf, I have to be out front giving visual cues, so that the cast can keep on track with acting and singing gestures. We are a unique group for sure!
We hope that you can come and see our shows for yourself. We will be performing at the Civic Center, right on highway 108, when you come into Elliot Lake. $15.00 a person and family of 3or more, $12.00 each. Come and be a part of the thrills, excitement and fun! I guarantee, You’ve Never Seen Anything Like this!