How to Snag a Sea Monster: A Terrifically Tall Tale marks the return of live children’s theater
After a year of lockdown parents of young children will be happy to have the opportunity to see Mesner Puppet Theater’s How to Snag a Sea Monster: A Terrifically Tall Tale at the Coterie Theatre in the Crown Center. The story is an adaptation of the American tall-tale of Stormalong, who washes up as a giant baby on the beach of a small Cape Cod town. In this version, as Stormalong grows up to be 24ft tall and struggles to fit in due to his gigantic size, the townsfolk are menaced by a sea monster who threatens their livelihoods. Eventually, it falls to Stormalong to help his adoptive family and save the town. In the storytelling tradition of Jim Henson’s The Muppets, friendly characters from the fictional town of Barnacle Bay deal with slapstick adversity, and seemingly simple props are transformed by talented puppeteering.
Mike Horner’s gentle narration and clever puppeteering allows children to immerse themselves in the story and laugh at the antics of the characters. At 45 minutes long, the show is the perfect length for young attention spans, and includes a few special effects that made children in the audience (and some adults) “Oooo” and “Aaaah.” The overall message of the show is one of love and acceptance, and made for a pleasant evening spent with family. During a time when many parents may worry that their children are overly reliant on screen time for entertainment, it was nice to see how captivating a simple tale told via traditional storytelling methods can still be.
The Coterie is a nationally acclaimed children’s theatre for good reason; the small, friendly black-box theatre gives the impression of an up-close view of productions from any seat and the theatre has taken social distancing and sanitation measures seriously. Guests and performers are masked and groups are seated in separate areas.
How to Snag a Sea Monster: A Terrifically Tall Tale, performers live for families on The Coterie’s stage in Crown Center through May 30, 2021, with the streaming version available for families and virtual school field trips beginning May 5.
Tickets are on sale now through the box office or online.