Jorgensen enchanted by ‘Velveteen Rabbit’
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 13:10
The Enchantment Theatre Company’s version of children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit” came to a nearly sold-out audience at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts Sunday.
British author Margery Williams’ “The Velveteen Rabbit” is a story of devotion and the meaning of love depicted through the relationship of a young boy and his toy rabbit. According to a Jorgensen press release, Williams “always thought her toys were real” when she was growing up.
The theatrical performance incorporated an original musical score, life-size puppetry, magic, masks and visually enchanting props to make Williams’ 1922 book a reality.
The story starts when a young boy receives a toy rabbit (made of velveteen) as a Christmas gift. The rabbit gets made fun of by the other toys in the nursery, like “the Mechanical Toys, full of modern ideas.” The rabbit then is told by a wiser and older, worn out toy that as long as he learns how to love and be loved by his new friend, he will become real, no matter how used he looks.
The velveteen rabbit’s character won over the hearts and picked at the emotional strings of the audience, consisting mostly of children and their parents.
Jayda, 11, and Caitlyn, 10, both agreed that their favorite part of the show was the giant hunchbacked puppet character “Nanna” (and I have to agree with them--this was an amazing sight and the puppet was at least 11 feet tall).
A lucky pair of twins spent their ninth birthday at their first live theatrical performance. The twins, Zachary and Brittany, and their family travelled over an hour to see the show.
“My favorite part was the caterpillar,” said Zachary, referring to a puppet that made most of the audience “ooh!” and “ahh!” Brittany’s favorite part of the show was when the velveteen rabbit morphed into a real, live furry rabbit.
“It was tastefully done,” said the twins’ mother. “We’ll definitely be coming back to [the Jorgensen].”
“The music really shaped the atmosphere of the play,” said 18-year-old University of Hartford freshman Alexandra Levitz. Levitz, a theater production minor, said the music helped instill feelings of comfort, worry, pity, excitement and other emotions among the crowd.