When I think about the books that I grew up reading, one author that instantly comes to mind is Robert Munsch. Who didn’t love Robert Munsch growing up? And while I took a break from Munsch as I got older and filled my bookshelves with other authors, Munsch kept writing his hilarious and lovable children’s books and now I have a whole new collection of Munsch books to discover with Little Bear! It’s wonderful to be able to share some of his classics that I love while also reading Munsch books that are brand new to me. On Tuesday Little Bear and I had the pleasure of attending a performance of Munsch Upon A Time that’s currently being put on by Beach House Theatre not far from home at Crescent Beach. I was understandably excited to attend the performance; not only was this a chance to enjoy some of Robert Munsch’s great stories brought to life, it was also a chance to introduce Little Bear to live theatre!
Munsch Upon A Time is a one-hour long three-person show that takes you through five Munsch stories – 3 of his classics (The Paper Bag Princess, The Fire Station, and David’s Father) and 2 of his newer stories (Give Me Back My Dad and It’s My Room). All five stories are set within the story of what happens when Professor Pim’s time travel machines bring a woman from 1975 and a man from 2055 into the present. The performances in Munsch Upon A Time were dynamic and vivid, with attention given to draw in both the adults and children in the crowd. Audience participation is encouraged, which makes it the ideal introduction to a play (at least for my 3 year old!).
Munsch Upon A Time is a play that is entertaining even if you’re not familiar with all the stories. While Little Bear and I had read the three classic Munsch tales many times, neither of us knew about Give Me Back My Dad! and It’s My Room! Despite this, we enjoyed both of those stories as the actors are not revising the stories, but rather retelling the stories in a cute and creative way.
The three characters are all played by local actors. Professor Pim, played by Aaron
Holt, was believable and enjoyable in his role. I also loved that he was able to communicate very well with the children he brought on stage. Claire Pollock played the part of Patsy, and made the perfect 70s hippy. I got the feeling that she was the favourite among the kids, with most of the girls commenting on how much they loved her personality, costume, and acting, and even Little Bear telling me how funny he thought she was. The futuristic librarian, Fullerton, was played by Matt Falletta and was my favourite by far. I found his performance to be funny, natural, and memorable.
Overall, both Little Bear and I agreed – Munsch Upon A Time is a hit! There were mostly families in the audience, but there were a few adults that had come to see it on their own as well. While the play is targeted at a younger audience, any Robert Munsch fan can enjoy this performance!
Tickets are still available for Munsch Upon A Time, but if you want to catch a show, you’d better hurry, as your last chance to catch the show is on Saturday, August 15. For all the ticket details, check out the Beach House Theatre website.
Which of your childhood favourites do you love sharing with your children?