By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Something sweet and wonderful is going on at the tiny company in Plano called Fun House Theatre and Film. They just ended a one-weekend run of Laughter in the Stars, an adaptation of the beloved novella The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Fun House founder Jeff Swearingen wrote the script, directed the show and played the Fox. Dallas actor Shane Beeson played the Pilot, whose plane crashes in a desert where he meets a strange little boy-prince who seems to be from another planet. Beeson's 10-year-old son Jaxon played the title role. Talent runs in that family.
Andy Baldwin, just off WaterTower's hit Boeing-Boeing, made a guest cameo appearance as the Snake. Young Kennedy Waterman had some extraordinarily touching moments as Rose, the little flower-friend to whom the Little Prince is so devoted. What focus this young lady has.
This was a simple show in a small black-box space, done on a budget below shoestring. Projected pictures on a wall took the place of painted sets. Costumes were everyday clothes suggesting characters. In the cast of kids playing multiple roles, some were a bit awkward and a couple rushed dialogue. But the final impression echoed the book's quiet messages about love and imagination. It was a fine little show.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Through August 5 at the Wyly Theatre,
2400 Flora St., 214-880-0202.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat may be the brand of high-end entertainment that parents think makes kids enjoy theater. But it's often small pieces like Laughter in the Stars that give children, onstage and in the audience, a chance to see how real art can be achieved, created without bells and whistles, but with loads of heart.
Fun House Theatre and Film's next show is the musical Man of LaMancha, also directed by Swearingen. It will feature only kids in the cast. It opens September 13.