BAG FULL OF FUN:
THE CAT’S MEOW Paper Bag Players
The cat’s in and out of the bag and crooning a happy tune in “The Cat’s Meow” by The Paper Bag Players. This famous children’s troupe takes its name from its clever sets: Everything is paper or cardboard. Some costumes like the cats’ zany suits are paper, too. And how about Rapunzel-length curly paper hair? The Paper Bag Players have once again come up with an hour of laugh-out-loud entertainment for youngsters four to nine about the angst of their own world. The fun starts when a ticket holder (Kevin Richard Woodall) wanders on stage and is amazed to find an enormous cat sitting on a bench. Soon other seven-foot tall huge cats wander about and Judith Martin, the writer and director, and her collaborator, Ted Brackett, have immediately engaged the tykes. Everyone on stage and in the audience is meowing and talking together. And when cat food is served, the audience in this interactive show is asked to make the sound of a can-opener.
With toe-tapping music by Donald Ash-wander, Eric Martin and John Stone, the hour-long show features 10 surprise-filled skits. A bath-hating boy runs away with his bathtub and giant bar of soap in hot pursuit. The kids in the audience, side with the boy and yell out “I won’t take a bath.” They scream directions at a family lost at the mall and get up and do a dance. In the lovely story-skit “The Bird and the Girl,” Victoria Lauture illustrates it on a big paper pad while telling the tale (kids fall silent here). And there’s Olivia Goode as a little girl having a really bad hair day until the emergency worker from the Bad Haircut Squad arrives and fixes her disaster.
The skits run non-stop, playing into the kids’ sense of fun and wild imagination—where a cardboard box becomes a car and giant shoes argue with each other. Purr-fect for kids!
(Kaye Playhouse, 68th Street, between Park and Lexington, until March 9; Saturdays, 2 PM; Sundays 1 and 3; $20 and $25, 212-772-4448. Weekdays for school children, with a study guide for classroom discussion; call Audrey at 1-800-777-2247.)#