California-based Curbside Theatre offers a sequel to the ever-popular Antoine de Saint-Exupery story, The Little Prince, its three-person cast deploying acting, narration, acrobatics and movement in focused fashion befitting the ultra-tight performance space. But this Flight does not land in familiar Saint-Exupery territory. In Ezra LeBank’s version, set six years after the original, we meet a new little prince who comes from a far-off island, and in this story the little prince is a tiny girl.
Both Narrator and Pilot, LeBank recites an almost non-stop storytelling epic, each episode visually expressed and enhanced by the flawless duo acrobatics and ensemble movement of Cynthia Price as the prince and Taylor Casas as flora and fauna, notably cactus, stingray and turtle. Meeting a baker, jester and others, the prince concludes that “adults are very odd”.
Lack of colourful scenery or visuals diminishes the appeal of the minimalist action and lively narrative moments – badger in a box, bottle trees, the executive owning five thousand waves – while the vocabulary range sets the show far beyond the grasp of the advertised four-plus audience. Although definitely engaging older children – at least nine-plus – with its sincere look-with-the-heart” message, this feels like a work in progress that needs more attention to fulfil its potential.
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