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February 2005 Archives
February 14, 2005
Planet Baobab

In the tradition of Valentine's Day, we did dinner and the theatre tonight. At least, that's how I can technically describe taking the two beans to Pizza Hut and going to the Kids & Company presentation of Planet Baobab, an adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, made – in theory – for children.
Wow. And not in a good way.
The stage set was a cloth backdrop, approximately 15x10, on which the AV part of the production was projected, and a 10-piece electronic drum set. Two French Canadian performers in child-performer-esque outfits come out on stage, one goes behind the drum kit, and the other narrates the story. The drummer clanks out a bunch of space-agey sound effects, and controls the sound, while the narrator jumps around on stage to a plodding, directionless story – which, really, is The Little Prince in a nutshell.
Having done the kids' performer thing for six years with Dill and the Big Cheese Band, I've got a pretty good idea of what works and doesn't in entertaining children. This show misses the mark in so many ways, it's not even funny. Kids respond to respect and authenticity. As a parent, I see so many performers that think that children expect everything to be dumbed down and silly. This is a prime example – it's written by people who don't get kids, and think that they'll be amused by bright lights and silly gesticulating. As in production for adults, a weak story can't be fixed by special effects. And these special effects are CG and animation from, oh, 1992 or so. It was kind of like what you'd expect Cirque du Soleil performers who get busted for drug addiction to be doing.
Ah well, I take heart that the next place they're taking their show is Atikokan. They may never make it out alive.

[From the 'Gareth' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 09:20 PM
The Honda FR-V

I was expecting a standard feature review of this new six-seater Honda wen I found it at the Independent Online; I wasn't expecting to read a description like this:
The central front seat is the most useless of all. Whoever finds themselves cajoled into this untenable position will find a gear knob sprouting from their right knee like a misplaced phallus.

[From the 'Amusing Bits' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 08:28 AM