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Puss in Boots at Cloverdale Performing Arts

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Puss in Boots at Cloverdale Performing Arts

Reviewed by Malena Eljumaily

Gather up the kids from their far afield search for Pokemon on their phones and bring them to Cloverdale Performing Arts Center where Puss in Boots is happening on stage for the next two weekends. The show is a delight for parents as well as their offspring and cleverly interactive, to boot. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Ian Munc (PUSS/Mr. Dupress)

Perhaps I'm in a playful mood because this play is so playful. Right from the start we are informed 

As the show begins we meet the actors, playing the actors who will be playing the various parts. It's a clever introduction to the action that will follow. As is sometimes his wont, co-director (with Sasha Guleff) Yave Guzman has fun mixing up genders and ages, to keep things fresh and unexpected. Though there is an ogre, a king, a princess, and a marquis, the star, of course, is Puss, nimbly played by Ian Munc. Puss is the smartest one in the room or castle, mildly scheming to help his newfound friend, Simple (Olivia Guleff) and keep his own head above the water that is a recurring theme in this production.

that audience participation in the show is encouraged. Don't forget to grab a red ribbon from the basket upon entering, Puss will be needing your help with it at some point during the evening.

L-R, John Slinkert (JONES/KING/OGRE), Robert A. Rodriguez (PRINCESS/WISTERIA)The King (John Slinkert) and his lovely daughter, Clarissa (Robert A. Rodriguez) get caught up in the plot twists, never quite realizing that Puss is the architect of all the goings on. Can the poor ogre possibly have a chance against such a foxy feline?

The script, as fast as it is fun, is an adaptation by Moses Goldberg. There are plenty of quick one-liners that you need to pay attention to catch, but the obvious stuff is there, too.

 As always, the set design is imaginative and unfussy. The handcart serves as a tree and a rock when necessary, expecting the audience to use just a hint of imagination to make it work. A few scattered sound effects suggest a rushing river and a few other features.

Mckenzie Pepper's costumes, again imaginative and unfussy, work perfectly to create the fairytale feel of the production. I was very impressed with how Puss looked. He was believably feline, but not in a creepy pantomime way.

 The play is about an hour long, but the fun doesn't end with the final bow. After it's over, the kids, and surely the adults in the audience, too, can come up on stage and have their pictures taken with the cast which is entertaining to watch or participate in.

It's always a challenge to know who to recommend a production like this to. My kids are teenagers now, so couldn't be persuaded to come along, but darned if I didn't have a great time even without small children in tow.

Running July 29 and 30, August 5 and 6 at 7:30pm, July 31 and August 7 at 2pm.

209 N Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale, CA 95425

(707) 894-2214