Review by Light Dohrn
Even before the play “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” started, lots of things were happening. On the stage, there was a clock ticking away, and every time it dinged, an actress or actor came out in a completely mystical looking costume and opened one wooden door on a giant advent calendar on the back wall. Most of the doors were little, but at the bottom in the center was a double door that looked like an actual door. It was exciting to wonder what might be in that bottom door, and I’ll give you a hint: they open that one last! When the actors opened the little wooden doors one by one, each door had a painting of something Christmasy behind it, like a mistletoe or a teddy bear. But there were also mysterious objects, like a fish, a bumblebee, and a flame. You get to find out what each means when you watch the play, which is very satisfying and sometimes also funny. The costumes were probably my favorite part. One is a giant paper maché reindeer head with colorful Christmas ornaments hanging off its antlers; another is a Jack-in-the-box, which is such a wild costume. I couldn’t even tell that the legs were fake, and the springy accordion the actor is sitting on hides his real legs, which are doing the crazy dances of the character of the Jack-in-the-box. His facial expressions were mostly silly grins and he cackled a lot.
When the play began, it was even more stylish and cool than before. There were no words spoken, just lots of music played by musicians who also sometimes danced and who wore bright costumes, too. When the actors HAD to speak, they came on stage with beautiful word flags or blocks with words or symbols on them, and lined up the flags or blocks. That made “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” feel like a magical, 3-D book.
I definitely recommend this play because it is festive, stylish, magical, funny, and also fun. Go see it with your family!
—Photo of the cast of THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER by Liz Lauren
The Steadfast Tin Soldier is playing through January 13 at
821 N Michigan Ave