Translated and adapted by Richard Lam. Directed by Jon Lachlan Stewart. Until April 13 at the Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw Ave. crowstheatre.com or 647-341-7390.
It is a rare opportunity to be enlightened by tender, creative, and whimsical storytelling. And so if you are fortunate enough to have the chance, I urge you to go see The Little Prince: Reimagined. This debut production by the Puzzle Piece company is able to magically capture the quintessence of the classic namesake novella. This show is imaginative and spellbinding in the way that only phenomenal children’s stories can be.
At the beginning of the play, we are greeted by the narrator/pilot (Richard Lam). He guides us through our initiation to watch the show, a ritual that children and adults are very familiar with – making a paper airplane. We then slowly discover how both paper and airplane become important creative dramatic elements and motifs while we are taken on this journey of getting to know him and his new friend, the little prince (Kira Hall).
I sometimes forget that we are in this intimate theatre space at Dundas and Carlaw as we travel with the little prince throughout the universe, visiting planets and meeting eclectic characters. These situations represent specific commentaries of human nature; although Lam does a few departures from the original story, these creative choices pay off very well. His modernization of these characters and their vignettes makes an already universal story feel more timely in our digital age. The themes of adulthood, loneliness, materialism, and working without purpose still resonate.
Despite The Little Prince being one of the most popular books of 20th century France, you will never be ceased to be amazed by the stream of artistic surprises this production has in store for you. The show is a tour de force that playfully dances with lights, shadows, puppets and music.
One of the most signature lessons of this story comes from the quote, “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched – they are felt with the heart.” I’m not arguing with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s masterpiece writing, but I will say this: The Little Prince: Reimagined is a beautiful show and it must be seen to be experienced. Your inner child will thank you for it.
Patrick enjoys theatre and is an amateur writer in Toronto.