Where Sweet Gets You

Review of Perô at Seattle Children's Theatre by Emma M.

Perô is an enchanting boys vs. girls story imported straight from the Netherlands. The girls, Colombina and Sun, are sunny and cheerful, whereas the boys, Perô and Moon, are shy and moony. Perô is a floury baker and Colombina is the pretty girl next door. She’s a washerwoman who likes her whites sparkling. Trouble ensues when the painter Palentino comes to town and Colombina is dazzled by his bright colors. They run off together, and meanwhile poor Perô, who is in love with Colombina, closes his bakery “due to a broken heart”. But Colombina’s romance isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. When her lover bullies her, she realizes her mistake and returns home to Perô.

Perô comes to Seattle Children’s Theatre all the way from Speeltheater Holland in the Netherlands. The actors however are all local. The whole cast shines: Matt Wolfe as Perô, Jennifer Sue Johnson as Colombina, Corinna Lapid Munter as Sun, and Mark Rabe as Moon. The troupe sings, dances, puppeteers and captures the avant-garde feel of Perô so well.

Directed and designed by Onny Huisink co-founder of Speeltheater Holland, Perô has a very playful feel. The sets and puppets are very imaginative, they fold out, light up, stretch out, and roll around. The two houses where Perô and Colombina live feel almost like doll houses, and are simple on the outside but are full of surprises.

Younger kids will love the play’s sweetness, such as the little mice that live with Perô and Colombina. But as Moon says, “Sweet? Sweet? Where does that get me?” The older audience members will relate to the more complex emotions portrayed, such as heartbreak, infatuation, passion, loyalty, and love. When Colombina is pushed around by the painter Palentino, and has to cook him tons of pasta, the kids will laugh at Palentino gulping down pasta. But the adults can appreciate Colombina’s struggle to make the choice to leave Palentino and return to her home.

Four actors and a lively smattering of puppets and musical instruments, Perô is a beautifully crafted European treat that everyone will love!

- Emma M.
January 16th, 2010

Seattle Children's Theatre
Through February 14th
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