THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

<em>The Emperor\'s New Clothes</em>&nbsp;at Casa Ma&ntilde;ana Children\'s Theatre

Review: The Emperor's New Clothes | Casa Manana | Casa Manana Theatre


Fashion Passion

Casa Mañana Children's Theatre engages with a delightful take on The Emperor's New Clothes.



published Thursday, February 7, 2019

Photo: Chip Tompkins
The Emperor's New Clothes at Casa Mañana Children's Theatre

 

Fort Worth — Nothing wrong with putting a little spin on an old classic. The Emperor’s New Clothes, playing at Casa Mañana Children’s Theatre through Feb. 17, takes the classic tale of hubris brought low by a child’s wisdom and adds a little emotional underpinning, while still keeping things entertaining for the show’s young audience. And while the original musical numbers are, for the most part, on the forgettable side, the cast’s enthusiasm keeps Casa’s production humming along.

The castle servants, the villagers, even Arno the scrub boy (Mark Quach) are all in a tizzy: Emperor Marcus the Third (Nigel Hall)’s coronation is today, and the young emperor-to-be is nowhere to be found. Turns out Marcus (an 18-year-old bookworm) isn’t so sure he’s ready to live up to the legacy of Marcuses One and Two, at least until Arno gives him an idea: maybe to feel like an emperor, you need to dress the part? Marcus has his servant Deena (a wonderfully exasperated Cara Statham Serber), a talented seamstress, put to work immediately making him regal new outfits, each more elaborate than the last. But while Marcus dithers over clothes and plans a big parade to show them off to the people, a series of unfortunate events (a sinkhole, a flooding river, etc.) hit the townspeople. All his subjects want is for Marcus to make decisions to solve their problems, but he doesn’t feel enough like an emperor to do so—at least, not until he finds the right clothes. But a dastardly swindler (David Coffee) overhears the emperor’s belief that it’s clothes that make the man, and decides to con Marcus. He declares that he can make Marcus magic clothes, the most beautiful in the world, and ones that are invisible to fools and liars, but only if he’s allowed to stay in the palace and is given everything he asks for by Marcus and his advisor William (Greg Dulcie). But when the time comes, and the swindler produces the emperor’s “magic” new clothes, will anyone be brave enough to admit they see through the scheme, and show Marcus that it isn’t clothes that make for a wise and just ruler?

Casa Mañana and director Joe Sturgeon have pulled together a fantastic cast for the piece, with some familiar faces for devotees of the DFW theater scene along with some fresher faces. Nigel Hall’s Marcus is sweetly oblivious—with high kicks to die for, BTW—and his musical numbers with Mark Quach’s equally befuddled Arno (Act I’s “Only A Guy Like You” and its reprise in Act II) are the best in the production. Cara Statham Serber keeps her character nicely grounded throughout, and shares an appropriately comfortable “old married couple” chemistry with Greg Dulcie’s gruff William. The role of the gleefully avaricious peddler, with a mix of Harold Hill’s glib patter and Snidely Whiplash’s mustache-twirling, is a perfect showcase for local legend David Coffee in his 89th production with Casa Manana. He glides through the role with a vaudevillian flourish, and the kids in the audience loved to hate him, reveling loudly in his inevitable comeuppance at the play’s end. A quick caveat for parents: this production is, perhaps, on the sophisticated side, and would most likely be suited to children six or so and up, although there’s enough slapstick in the piece that their younger siblings would probably grasp the humor.

The production uses a clever framing device by scenic designer Tara A. Houston: it opens with a group of traveling players (the musical’s cast) arriving at the palace, ostensibly to perform “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” before taking on their roles within the story. The group’s travelling wagon then becomes a set piece throughout, spinning around to be used as a backdrop for a new location, and opening to reveal Marcus’ throne, presumably on a balcony above the adoring masses. The costuming, naturally, plays a key role in the piece, and costume designer Tammy Spencer deserves praise for the sheer volume of pieces she creates for Marcus, only to have them cast aside moments later, as well as for Serber’s red-and-black dress, which is subtly echoed in William’s waistcoat, subtly underlining their connection.

Casa Mañana continues to produce some of the Metroplex’s most consistently beloved children’s theater, and The Emperor’s New Clothes is another worthy addition to their lengthy résumé. The dress code? As long as they aren’t invisible—this is a children’s production after all—you’re probably all set. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Fashion Passion
Casa Mañana Children's Theatre engages with a delightful take on The Emperor's New Clothes.
by Jill Sweeney

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie UNT College of Music Dallas Black Dance Spring Celebration 2019 Remember Rudy Collin County Ballet Garland Symphony Orchestra Hurt Village Office Hour The Father Fuga The Time Machine Falstaff Whither Goest Thou America 3 Everything is Wonderful theatre Three Fort Worth Opera Festival Broadway Our Way 2019 Xanadu Granville arts Center TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Open Classicial Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit