Aug 20, 2013
From Jewish tradition somewhere in Eastern Europe comes this charming and inspiring tale about... well, charming and inspiring tradition. As popularized by the picture book of the same name by Phoebe Gilman, this story tells of a gift made by a grandfather for a grandchild (in Gilman's version, the child is a boy; in our version, she isn't) -- and subsequently remade several times. It begins as a blanket, then as it is worn out, it is transformed into smaller and smaller items. In the process, it delivers a yarn (pun intended) about preserving one's heritage and being resourceful with available resources.
We come to you from Chicopee, Masachusetts, near Springfield -- birthplace of basketball and Dr. Seuss (at nearly the same time). We wonder if Dr. Seuss was a bouncing baby boy. Anyway, we recently took a jaunt down to Connecticut, where we attended some live theatre. First, we saw the musical "LMNOP" in Chester, Connecticut. Adapted from the novel Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (a former college classmate of Dennis), the story is a sort of satirical modern fairy tale about a country where letters of the alphabet are banned one at a time, making it very hard for people to communicate. It's a fun story especially for language lovers, and the production was outstanding, with a cast of great singers.
We also attended two performances in New London by the National Theatre of the Deaf, whom we've been wanting to catch in action for years. We saw two performances of the same show so we could carefully observe the sign language used by people who use it every day. They did an entertaining presentation of fables and comic skits. Like many of us in theatre, they make something from nothing -- or at least almost nothing.
Dennis (Narrator, Grandpa) and Kimberly (Narrator, Mother, Girl)
* Read along as you listen to the story
(Photo: Nathan Hale Schoolhouse in New London, CT)