Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas in the City - The Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit - Program book I love Christmas and the holidays. This is the time of the year to sit back and focus on family, friends and those things that are dear to me. It is also the time of the year when I get to be a kid again.

I feel fortunate that the San Francisco Bay Area is deeply rooted in the Christmas and holiday traditions and events and they bring out the best holiday mood in me. The Velveteen Rabbit has always been in my To See list during the Christmas holiday and finally, I was able to see it. Thank you Lord!

Mijo and I got to the lobby of the Lam Research Theater of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at ten minutes after 3pm. Can you believe we were that late to the show? So can you imagine my desperation at that moment that I was so close to finally seeing the play and yet on the brink of missing it? It was such a relief when they let us in. Though the show already started, the actual story has not begun yet when we arrived.

The Velveteen Rabbit - The EndThe Yerba Buena Center for the Arts usually schedules The Velveteen Rabbit performances for a couple of weeks and in the beginning of the holiday season. Unfortunately, I've never seen the show because it always coincides with my Christmas trip to the Philippines. How lucky am I to finally see the show this year? The show is a mix of dances, songs, dialogues and narrations.  Real isn't how you are made. It's a thing that happens to you, is my favorite quote in the play. Though the play-slash-dance show is based on the children's story by Margery Williams, the performance is definitely a winner even for the adults. The festive props and the colorful actors on stage gave me that Christmassy feeling. It was as if I am a little kid all over again! One of the characters, Nana, is this disproprotionately tall woman. I can imagine the actress is on the shoulders of another actor hidden under the skirt.

The story in a nutshell goes like this. A boy gets a Velveteen Rabbit for Christmas and the rabbit became the boy's favorite toy and takes the toy wherever he goes. The boy falls ill of scarlet fever so the doctor orders all toys and garments burned so to disinfect the nursery. The Velveteen Rabbit cried a real tear and the Nursery Fairy turned him into a real rabbit. The next spring, the boy sees a rabbit that looks like his old Velveteen Rabbit without ever knowing that it really was.

The Velveteen Rabbit - Yerba Buena Center for the ArtsThe story gave me a mixed feeling of joy and sadness. Joy because the boy truly loved the Velveteen Rabbit and vice versa. Sadness because the boy moved on and the Velveteen Rabbit was just a distant memory. It is truly a taleof love, loyalty and hope.
The Velveteen Rabbit included ODC's renowned company of dancers, a dozen children dancers from the ODC school, the score by Benjamin Britten, and narration by Geoff Hoyle. It ran from November 23, 2012 through December 9, 2012 at the Lam Research Theatre of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Howard St, San Francisco. 


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