Disney’s Winnie The Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation is back at Theatre Row for a limited summer engagement through July 31.
By Elazar Abrahams
Children’s entertainment can often be mindless and cheap – hastily thrown together nonsense that parents can leave their young ones with so they can nap. Shoutout to the latest Minions movie! But kids aren’t stupid, and that’s why it’s so important to seek out intelligent programming for them that’s made with delicate and genuine care. Case in point, Disney’s latest theatrical venture, Winnie the Pooh.
Winnie The Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation brings crowds into the iconic Hundred Acre Wood. The play follows Pooh and all his animal friends (we’re talking Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, etc. Truly the whole squad makes appearances) on their quest for honey while Christopher Robin is at school. Christopher is only gone for a few hours, to Pooh, it seems almost like he’s off for a full year. This is reflected by the stage show cycling through the four seasons. Each season is almost its own vignette, with the characters getting into a different kind of trouble. The seasons also allow for cool effects, like sprouting flowers when spring has sprung, or a flurry of bubbly snow raining down from the ceiling during winter.
The most impressive aspect of the production is the puppetry. With the exception of Christopher Robin, all the characters are puppets, expertly maneuvered by a wickedly talented team of actors. Spotting the differences in how each operates was quite interesting. The cast really brings their A-game.
Look, this show, with its 60-minute uninterrupted runtime and innocent dialogue, is absolutely for toddlers. So yes, it was a little weird for my friend and I to be a pair of 20-somethings in the audience on our own. However, peeking at the kids’ reactions reassured us that this thing was a hit amongst them. I also think that adults that grew up on Pooh stories will find a lot to love here as well. While the show is ending its New York run soon, a national tour is beginning shortly. Check out this delightful production when it stops in your city.
Find tickets HERE.