|Front: Tia Shearer as Kiji the Bird, Jacob Yeh as Momotaro, Phillip Reid as Inu the Dog. Back: Rafael Untalan as Saru the Monkey. Photo credit: Margot Schulman|
What happens you combine a boy born from a peach, a monkey, a bird, a dog, some loud mean ogres plus anime? Imagination Stage’s Anime Momotaro retells a classic Japanese fable as if it were an anime (Japanese style animated movie). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the stage production blew me away. I haven’t been involved in a stage production in over 5 years, but seeing Anime Momotaro made me miss working in theatre.
If my endorsement isn’t for you, here’s what my kids had to say about it:
Sophia, my 7 year old exclaimed, “I loved it so much, I want to go see it again!”
Jaxson, my 3 year-old critic had a little more to say, “The show was awesome! But it was loud.”
|L-R: Tia Shearer as Nakamon, Rafael Untalan as Daimon, Jacob Yeh as Momotaro, Phillip Reid as Monmon. Photo credit: Margot Schulman.|
So what exactly makes the stage production “anime”? Just like any animated show, there’s a theme song. I don’t remember all the words to it, but the tune was catchy. I caught myself humming it after the show. The sound effects are the same ones you might hear in Pokemon cartoons. The action sequences utilized creative use of props with help from the ninja-like koken. My husband and I enjoyed the slow motion, almost Matrix like fight scenes. Sounds crazy? Check out the show trailer below.
The “Momotaro-san” song is really cute! I hope I didn’t give you an earworm. The show was equally entertaining for our kids as well as my husband, who has acted in many children’s plays.
Anime Momotaro won’t just entertain your family, but covers a very relevant issue for our children: bullying. Sure, the ogres are mean and ugly (though I thought they looked soft and cuddly), but why? In the original folktale, Momotara, with his band of animal friends, kill the ogres. In this version, the ending is less gory and much happier.
Our family was able to attend the press performance and even had a chance for a backstage tour. Here are the kids in front of the Ogre Gate. It looks menacing, doesn’t it? If you’re taking little ones to see the show, be forewarned that some of the sound effects are loud for their ears. My little guy cover his ears for about a third of the show. He found the ogres, especial Daimon, scary. However, he got so into the long fight sequence, he was throwing punches in the air along with Momotaro. I had to hang onto him tight so he wouldn’t fly off my lap.
Anime Momotaro is currently playing at Imagination Stage and runs through March 10. The show is recommended for ages 5-10 and tickets start at $12. You can buy tickets on the Imagination Stage website, call the box office at 301-280-1660, or visit the box office in person.
If you’re looking for a girl version of Momotaro, Sophia’s favorite is Tasty Baby Belly Buttons by Judy Siera. Little Urikohime, the Watermelon Princess, is born from a watermelon instead of a peach. She’s a tough nonsense princess who will do anything to save her village from the oni (ogres).
Imagination Stage has graciously offered a 4 pack of tickets to see Anime Momotaro this weekend. Check your calendar to see if you’re free for one of the following performances: Saturday February 9 at 11:00AM, 1:30PM or 4:00PM or Sunday, February 10 at 1:30PM or 4:00PM.
This is a quick giveaway and will end Thursday, February 7 at 6PM Eastern. I’ll contact the winner via email and you must claim your ticket by 9PM or another winner will be chosen. Winner can pick up their ticket from the Imagination Stage box office.
Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:
Our family attended a press performance of the show. All opinions are our own.