Today’s advice: grab the nearest child (or don’t, you don’t need an excuse) and rush to see “The Lorax,” at the Royal Alex. It’s a musical adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book, first produced at the Old Vic in London, and it’s not just a stunning piece of theatre – enjoyable for both adults and children – but with a vitally important message too. I hope that among the huge crowd of kids at the matinee today, a few were hit between the eyes with the message and will emerge as the ecological leaders of tomorrow. The play shows that greed and ignorance are destroying our beautiful green planet. The Lorax, magnificently portrayed by a puppet manipulated by 3 actors, is a friend to the trees, the animals and all nature, and he watches in despair as his world is destroyed.
This sounds joyless, and it is definitely a downer – at the intermission, I heard a little girl say, “It’s so good but it’s sad – the swan dies!” And she does, of air pollution. But it’s gloriously produced, with singing, dancing, great actors, amazing sets descending from the flies, lots of humour – “Best of all, I loved the bears farting, ” said Eli afterwards. As I said, something for everyone. Even an anti-Trump moment, joined in enthusiastically by the whole audience.
Five is probably a bit young, but Eli stuck with it. His mama and I were enthralled. A piece of theatre beautifully produced about something that could not matter more, particularly right now – that’s what I call a treat. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukah. Plant a seed. Grow a tree. Save our world.