The Queen of Colors as Bright Theatre Entertainment

 

 

 

The Queen of Colors takes on a giant rainbow of meaning in a sweet yet smart tale for young children that seems to be just as endearing to adults as well judging from the positive audience reception.  It is presented by the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts from France and Germany’s Compagnie Les Voisins in the Lovelace Studio Theatre (http://thewallis.org/showinfo.php?id=30&v=2)

All of the audience gets into the act

 

Co-creators Paul Obrich  and Eva Noell start with the popular children's book by German author Jutta Bauer.   Their The Queen of Colors makes use of ingenious shadow puppetry, music and live painted projections in a completely original but simple manner.  The illusion is that of Court Painter (Eva Noell ), the beautiful young lady on one side of the stage at her drawing table who is not only drawing the Queen but feels as though she is prompting her to spring into action.  The show carefully unfolds on a small, arched screen where the puppet queen appears Court Artist, Noel, draws the world around her, projecting images from the castle to her living quarters, filling each scene with block colors as the queen calls for her favorite color.  Behind the scenes is another genius working the puppet, Paul Obrich. 

The Queen of Colors ventures forth

The Court Painter paints

The painter  is accompanied by a Court Musician, Patrice Langlois, on the other side of the stage, playing a piano accordion. The Queen commands him around in the same way as she does her Court Painter.

 

Together as the feisty Queen calls upon them, they create the atmosphere for vivid backdrops for her as she ventures into her kingdom and experiences the personalities of each color of the rainbow. And this Queen zigs and zags between her colorful best friends like a fickle child.  It makes the theme of getting along all the more amusing because the entitled Queen maintains all the sophistication of a three-year-old and a raspy, funny voice to match.

 

 

Through her we learn that while fun comes in all colors, too much of a good thing can turn messy.  Still, best of all, The Queen of Colors is a story that encourages coloring outside of the lines and unleashing creativity. 

 

 

Matilda, the Queen of Colors, has a color for her every mood—she calls for Blue when she’s calm, Red when she’s wild, and Yellow when she wants to be warm.   Watching the performance means you will never look at these colors in the same way again.  But when Matilda and  the color Yellow begin to quarrel, not even Blue and Red can stop the argument. And before long everything in the kingdom turns Gray, until Matilda cries her  tears  in every one of the primary colors.   

 

 

The performance was a joy.  Every kid and grown-ups in the audience of the small theatre laughed infectiously at the whimsical, ingenious production of COLORS, although it is a show recommended for an audience age four to seven.

 

Among the loudest was my 7-year-old seat neighbor.  I know how old he is because I asked him.  I could not believe how sophisticated his conversation was before the show with the boy of about the same age sitting behind him.  He thought nothing, he told me, of using three syllable words like "continuous" in telling a story.   When I asked him the definition; he was spot on, surprised I myself might not know the word.

 

The two had never met before but these two were engrossed in talking about a tv show and then other people in the audience, laughing  politely at each other’s jokes.   It was perfect theatre behavior.

 

The Grand Hall was turned into a dining room with hands-on "color" activities prior to the performance. It was a marvelous use of the former post office and current theatre, making it even more multi-dimensional in a full experience.

The lobby turned into a castle dining hall

Lots of pre-show activities

A new kind of theatre experience

 Eva Noell and Paul Olbrich, originally of Theater Waidspeicher, founded Erfreuliches TheatErfurt (Pleasant Theater Erfurt) in 2004, which became Compagnie Les Voisins in 2010. They studied puppetry at The Actor’s School of Berlin and have been working as puppeteers, puppetry directors, authors and lecturers ever since. They have staged and performed in numerous productions for children and adults, including classics, modern drama, fairy tales and adaptations of contemporary children’s books.

 

The show was winner of the Children's Jury Award at the International Puppet Theater Festival, Compagnie Les Voisins.  

Kids can be any age for COLORS

 

Tickets for the threatre can be purchased on line at www.thewallis.orgor by calling 310-746-4000 or in person at The Wallis Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.  

 

Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (aka “The Wallis”) brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists.The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the US and around the globe. This fall marks The Wallis' second season, which also includes its prestigious "Arts & Ideas" series, conversations with guests from the realms of culture, literature and politics. Housed in a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects, The Wallis celebrates the classic and the modern in the juxtaposition of the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, as well as a theater school for young people, and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. 

 

 

 

 

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