Theater review (excerpt)
Seattle Times, Saturday, 2/28/98
"THUMBELINA - Produced and performed by Oregon Shadow Theatre"
by Richard Farr
"Hans Christian Andersen never had it so groovy. This new shadow puppet version of 'Thumbelina',
his story about a tiny girl born from a flower, gives her adventures a Woodstock Generation twist.
"Thumbelina's world -- a projection screen the shape of a setting full moon -- is populated by a
rainbow cast of mice, frogs, birds and bugs. Her funny, engaging story is told by the multi-voiced
talent of Mick Doherty, who is a cross between a hippie and a teddy bear, with beard borrowed from
Tolstoy and grin borrowed from a leprechaun.
"Mick sits to one side in a cluster of musical instruments, strumming a bright red electric
guitar, and tells how Thumbelina ('a flower child') meets, among others, a frog called Buford who
has a thing about Elvis. ('Ain't nuthin' but a bu-ull-frog.')
"Thumbelina meets a mouse, Mrs. Strawberry Fields. The mouse's best friend is the mole Mr.
Darkness ('Hello, Darkness, my old friend...'). And there's a fine talent show, with a cheesy
six-legged host ('good evening, ladybugs and gentlebeetles') who does a pretty good imitation of
"The other half of the team, behind the scenes, is Deb Chase, who designs, makes and expertly
manipulates the bits of plastic and paper out of which she and Mick spin their magic.
"'Don't you wish they all could be California bu-ugs?' Truth is, the Oregon bugs seem to be just
fine. On a sunny afternoon there was scarcely a seat at the Northwest Puppet Center to be had."
Oregon Shadow Theatre is a Portland, Oregon based company specializing in the ancient art of
shadow puppetry. Their award-winning shadow plays have toured the United States and Canada,
including performances at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., as well as theatres,
schools and festivals from coast to coast.