Review: ‘Grug & the Rainbow’ at The Kennedy Center’s Family Theater

A colorful story wowed the kids and their parents at today’s 1:30 PM performance of the Windmill Theatre Company of Australia’s Grug & the Rainbow, directed by Sam Haren, which ends its brief visit tomorrow, Sunday, March 19th at 1:30 PM and 4 PM at The Kennedy Center’s Family Theater.

Based on Ted Prior’s series of Grug books, this 45-minute stage adaptation, with friendly cast members Matt Crook, Nathan O’Keefe, and Ellen Steele, which included some audience partipation, had the young audience learning the colors of the rainbow, including a new color they may have not known-indigo. And they got to show off their favorite dance moves.

Grug has seen the multi colors of the rainbow and he wants to duplicate their beauty and bring color to his drabby, colorless life.

Grug is hardly a beauty – he is chunky, has weird looking eyes, and  a body to match. But there’s something cute about him, and endearing, as he leaves on his journey. And Puppet Designer Tamarta Rewse has created a Grug that is very similar to the one illustrated by Mr.Prior.

Scenic Designer Jonathan Oxlade has created some carpeted hills and mountains, a pair of mini skis, and an adorable yellow bicycle, and some other mini visual delights. DJ Trip has written the score. and Chris Petridis was the Technical Designer.

Ellen Steele and Grug. Photo courtesy of The Kennedy Center.

Along Grug’s journey we meet some some colorful characters and objects. There’s a blue bird, a yellow bike, and an indigo drum, and there’s Snoot the Echidna, and my favorite: Cara the Carpet Snake who was hiss-terical! – all intended to teach kids their colors – and it might have worked!

I heard a kid reciting his colors as he left. His Mom looked at him and said, “Aren’t you proud you know your colors now?” The kid responded, “I’m really excited!”

 Grug & the Raibow plays through tomorrow, March 19, 2017, at The Kennedy Center’s Family Theater – 2700 F  Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call the box office at  (202) 467-4600, or Toll-Free: (800) 444-1324, or purchase them (202) 467-4600
Toll-Free: (800) 444-1324, or purchse them online.
For kids aged 2 and up.
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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.


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