Sarah’s Review of “Perô, or the Mysteries of the Night”

A few days after seeing Childsplay’s Perô, or the Mysteries of the Night, my daughter wants to go back and see it again. I, on the other hand, want to go to Italy and eat pastries.

Let me clarify. It’s not because I didn’t care for the show. On the contrary, it was darling. But the story of an Italian baker set to a catchy European soundtrack has given me a serious case of wanderlust (and made me hungry)!

For the time being I will settle for living vicariously through Perô, his neighbor Columbina, and the flamboyant Paletino the painter in this sweet tale. Cleverly narrated by the sun and the moon, Perô tells the story of star-crossed lovers (puppets, actually) whose occupations – a baker who bakes by moonlight and a washer woman who needs the sun to dry her clothes – have kept them at bay. It takes a surprise visitor shaking things up in their quiet village to help the characters realize what they truly want.

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While the sun and the moon narrated the bulk of the tale, they were also the musicians and one of the highlights of the show. I can’t remember seeing another Childsplay performance with live music and it was a treat! My daughter, her friend and I tapped along to the upbeat tunes throughout.

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The other highlight, in my opinion, was the clever – yet simple – set construction. It was fun to watch the “handlers” bring the puppets to life inside their little white houses. But it was even more interesting to watch the big black box in center stage transform into a colorful, tranquil countryside complete with fluttering butterflies, falling leaves and…pasta. Yes, noodles galore.

My 11-year-old dates both loved the show and asked to see it again. And I would, too – only this time, I would plan on a post-production pastry run.

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Heather’s Review of “Perô or the Mysteries of the Night”

I am lucky enough to be one of the Childsplay Family2Family Bloggers for their 2015-2016 season and yesterday my family headed down to the Tempe Center for the Arts and enjoyed a beautiful production of Perô or the Mysteries of the Night.

This was our first visit to a Childsplay production as well as to the Tempe Center for the Arts, which by the way is a stunning piece of architecture!  After the play we spent some time walking around outside enjoying the beautiful weather and the scenery.

The play itself is told by four very talented narrators who tell the story using music, puppets, and creative scenery. My 6 and 9 year old boys have grown up going to live theater and this one didn’t disappoint, it had them captivated and engaged for the entire performance.   The talent of the actors was incredible with their ability to sing, dance, act, play a variety of musical instruments all while using puppetry was fascinating to watch!

While not wanting to give away too much, this is a beautiful story filled with love, romance, laughter, and a little bit of heartbreak too.  The Sun and the Moon are two of the characters who help tell the story, set in a small village in Italy, of the baker, Perô and the washer woman, Colombina.

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The entire family certainly had their own favorite parts of the performance.  At the end of the show, the actors spent a few minutes answering some Q&A from the audience members.  Lastly, as we headed out of the theater, we were given some questions to talk about as a family for the ride home about the play – it was great!

This particular show has a limited engagement, playing only 2/6/16 – 2/7/17 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.  I’d highly recommend taking your family to see this – they’ll love it!

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