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Logan Fringe Arts Space: Upstairs
Remaining Performances (tickets available here):
Saturday, July 18 at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 19 at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 25 at 12:30 p.m.
They Say: War and Peas is the story of three brave vegetables who go on a journey to save their friend from the evil fruit bowl! A wordless show told through movement and puppetry, War and Peas is appropriate for all ages!
Becky’s Take: I’m not usually into “shows for all ages” or cute puns, so when I read that this play was 1.) told through movement and puppetry, and 2.) titled War and Peas, I wrote it off. But after seeing a preview, I realized that this show might actually be incredible. And it is.
Keenan Gibson, Rocio Medina, and Collin Riley play our vegetable heroes Eggplant, Pepper, and Mushroom. All is well in their land of refrigerator fun until their friend Tomato (played by Rebecca Wahls, one of the show’s puppeteers) is relocated to the fruit bowl by a young boy who just learned that tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable.
What to do? Go and find their friend, of course. After some help from Watermelon (puppeteers Roman Voytko Barrosse and Lorena Berger), they crash open the fridge door and land on the floor. The play could have easily fallen flat if it only involved their adventures through the kitchen, but writer, director, and choreographer Ruthie Rado keeps the action going with mishaps that take them to the grocery store, the street, and even the moon.
All of this is acted out with very little dialogue, no set, and the creative use of minimal props. And if it did have more dialogue, a set, and less-DIY props, it would have completely lost its charm. The amazing thing about this play is the way that the actors create the structure of their world with their movements. When they fall, climb, or fly, you can tell what’s going on through their bodies, facial expressions, and command of the theatre space. Vincent Rado’s music arrangement also does a fantastic job of setting scenes and immersing the theatergoer in their world (the grocery store music, for example, is inspired).
Probably my favorite part of the play was a showdown between the veggies and a trio of utensils. Once in the kitchen, Eggplant, Pepper, and Mushroom each went one-on-one with the menacing Fork, Knife, and Spoon (puppeteers Adam Lemos, Zachary Wilcox, and Rebecca Wahls). The scene was hilarious, the action well-choreographed, and, to my great relief, it ended in a dance party.
See it if: You have kids and/or enjoy earnestly good acting.
Skip it if: You can’t deal with children crying (but this is a kids’ show, get over yourself).
Photo by Paul Gillis Photography