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Free summer theatre in the park — CCPT’s Jack and the Beanstalk

Free summer theatre in the park — CCPT’s Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack Beanstalk - kids engrossed - photo by Pauline Adamek

Summertime means free outdoor theatre! Now in their twelfth annual season, the Culver City Public Theatre (CCPT) has been staging plays, al fresco, in a quiet, suburban park for families and theatre lovers of all ages. Fans come with their own picnic blankets and chairs to Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park (handy to the 405 & 10 freeways), and then settle in for an hour or so of pure entertainment under the welcoming shade of the trees. The CCPT generally stage popular fare such as Shakespeare comedies (this season included an updated Merry Wives of Windsor, the New Jersey edition) and kid-friendly classic tales. From now until the end of August, you can see an imaginative version of the beloved fairytale The True Story Of Jack And The Beanstalk, written and directed by current company President Heidi Dotson, as part of their “˜Children”™s Popcorn Theater”™ production slate (which is the show offered every season specifically aimed at a younger audience).

photo by Pauline Adamek

Here Dotson cleverly merges two well-known fairytales; the story of the goose that laid the golden eggs with the beloved story of young Jack whom foolishly exchanges the family cow for a handful of magic beans. Beautifully narrated by the cow, Milky White (Rachanee Kitchel), the familiar story is served up in the style of British pantomime and also nicely fleshed out and expanded into an hour-long play broken into two acts that accommodates most kiddie”™s notoriously short attention spans.

By focusing her attention on the usually (somewhat) overlooked cow character, Dotson”™s re-tooled and easy to understand story gets a lot of comic mileage out of the all-knowing cow explaining the action and attempting to advise simple Jack and his mother to no avail. (Hilariously, none of the humans besides the audience can understand what she is saying.) Dotson also presents the usually terrifying giant (Dean Edward) as a wanna-be poet with a sneaky wife (Ronnie Loaiza) and even creates a thoroughly happy ending for all.

Featuring cute sets, costumes and props, as well as an adorable cast, this is a delightfully low-tech production – just wait till you see the beanstalk grow!  The True Story Of Jack And The Beanstalk is a sweet and magical play that had tiny tots and adults alike giggling with mirth.

Jack and the Beanstalk - backstage - photo by Pauline Adamek

What could possibly be better than free, quality outdoor theatre on weekend afternoons throughout the summer months in a beautiful suburban park setting?  Get down there and get comfy. Stick around for The Enchanted Cottage, playing at 2pm. Donations are encouraged and are most welcome.

WHEN:

Weekend afternoons – shows at noon and 2pm – every Summer, throughout July and August.

WHERE:

Beautiful Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park, Culver City, California 90232, right near the 405 and 10 Freeways.

More info – (310) 712-5482

Or contact Sharon Savene on 818-445-0950 also  [email protected]

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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