Acclaimed Blair Thomas & Company Presents Free Family Performances at 6 Parks March 22-May 3
The acclaimed Blair Thomas & Company delights family audiences with magical puppetry and a live piano recital of masterworks in A Piano with 3 Tales select Saturdays from March 22-May 3 at six Chicago Park District field houses. All performances are admission free and are recommended for children ages 4-12.
Following is the performance schedule:
March 22 at 2 p.m.
Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd St.
March 29 at 2 p.m.
Austin Town Hall Park, 5610 W. Lake St.
April 5 at 1 and 3 p.m.
Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway Ave.
April 19 at 2 p.m.
Tuley Park, 501 E. 90th Pl.
April 26 at 2 p.m.
Washington Park, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.
May 3 at 1 and 3 p.m.
Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt Ave.
A Piano with 3 Tales is a classical piano recital masquerading as a puppet show. Pianist Mary Rose Norell performs three pieces for piano in their entirety: Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition; Frederic Chopin’s Scherzo in b flat minor; and Montague’s Mirabella a Tarantella (for toy piano). The music is paired with various handmade puppets, from bunraku dolls to larger-than-life human-sized costumes. This delightful family show exercises the imagination and reveals the magical power of wordless music. View an excerpt of “A Kite’s Tale,” one of the three pieces, here.
Cast includes puppeteers Sam Deutsch, Sarah Fornace, Dan Kerr-Hobert, Tully McLoughlin and Missi Davis.
Puppet design is by Blair Thomas, Jesse Mooney Bullock and Andrea Everman.
A Piano with 3 Tales is created and directed by Blair Thomas.
Mary Rose Norell has been the pianist on the production since 2008. She is currently completing her doctorate in piano performance at Northwestern University. She has frequently worked with Thomas, and the Chicago Tribune commented that she played Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition “beautifully.” She has presented recitals at home and abroad, appearing in England, Austria, and Lithuania.
Blair Thomas & Company is a Chicago-based company founded in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas. The company creates and performs contemporary puppetry and visual theater locally, nationally, and internationally. Blair Thomas & Company has twice received the UNIMA award for excellence in puppetry. Thomas was also the first artist to be awarded the Jim Henson Artist-In-Residence position at the University of Maryland.
A Piano with 3 Tales is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bridgeport Art Center, and individual donors to Blair Thomas & Co.