Although scientists assert dinosaurs became extinct several million years ago, several seem to have survived. And they've leaned to sing and dance, thanks to the Hudson Vagabond Puppets.
Smiley the Saber-Toothed Tiger, Tony and Trixie Triceratops, Rex the 11-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus, Pterry the Pterodactyl, Bessie the 22-foot-long Apatosaurus, and your host Willie Mammoth, stage a vaudeville-style musical revue, “The Mammoth Follies,” Wednesday, April 13, at the Smith Opera House.
“The Mammoth Follies” explores the wonders of evolution in an old-fashioned revue of original songs, witty jokes, and earth-smashing dances performed by giant dinosaur puppets. The program dramatizes historic and scientific facts, as well as some myths, about the great age of the dinosaur.
Hudson Vagabond Puppets, incorporated in 1980 as a not-for-profit company, creates larger-than-life puppetry and mask programs designed to fit into the school curriculum as well as to entertain children and their families. Professional dancers and actors clad in black, the puppeteers borrow from the traditional Japanese Bunraku style of puppetry, becoming mere shadows of the enormous figures they bring to life.
HVP tours nationally throughout the year and has performed in concert halls, theater, colleges, and major performing arts centers, including Brooklyn Academy of Music, The California Institute of Technology, Empire Center at the Egg, The Tilles Center for the Arts, Centre East Presents, the Luther Burbank Center, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. They brought the over-sized marine science-themed production of “Under the Sea with Silly Jellyfish” to The Smith in 2002.
Narrated ballets are a specialty of the company. Their puppets have danced with symphony orchestras including The Little Orchestra Society at Avery Fischer Hall, the Phoenix Arizona Symphony, the Wheeling W. VA Symphony (conducted by Rachel Warby), the St. Louis Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, and the United States Military Concert Band at Eisenhower Hall at West Point.
From 1984 to 1998, “The Mammoth Follies” was performed for audiences all over the country. After a 7-year absence, the dinosaurs once again storm the stage in a completely renovated production of this wildly popular and thoroughly educational production.
Show times for “The Mammoth Follies” are 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. All seats are $4.50 and may be reserved by contacting the Smith Opera House. The production lasts one hour. It is suggested for grades kindergarten through four.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. Call 315-781-LIVE or toll-free 1-866-355 LIVE for additional information. The Smith is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by contributions from individual supporters. This production is part of The Smith's “ArtSmart Theatre for Young People” series, and is generously sponsored by the Lyons National Bank.
This is the final show in the 2004/05 “ArtSmart” series.