Anthony J. Piccione
New York Critic
Toward the beginning of this year, I had the pleasure of seeing a sci-fi themed solo-show geared for young audiences about caring for the environment entitled “Constellarium”. It was just the latest outing from educational theatre company Rebel Playhouse, the brainchild of actor/producer Clara Kundin and Sarah Sutliff. Given , after receiving an invite to their latest production: The premiere of Ric Averill’s “The Fantastical, Dangerous Journey of Q”. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.
Centered around the title character of Q, a gender non-binary kid portrayed wonderfully by Mia/Milo Longenecker, struggling to fit in with their peers while dealing with the struggle of the absence of their father, the main thing this script has going for it is that it is, for the most part, successful in dealing with a somewhat heavy and personal subject in a wholesome and accessible manner that makes it rather unique among other shows. The plotline involving Q’s family felt somewhat underdeveloped, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing that explored further. Still, the rest of the plot is very much worth watching, and leaves you feeling a sense of joy and optimism.
If there’s anything that could make this show more enjoyable, it would be exactly what stands out most in this production, beyond the play itself and its talented cast: Puppets! The supurb puppet design of Rosa Douglas, which helps bring to life various characters whom Q interacts with in the play, is a big part of what makes this a visually enjoyable show, as well as a show with an important substantive message. The colorful set design and lighting design by Josie Cohen also enhance the atmosphere of this show.
My one other critique is that, given that Rebel Playhouse typically produces work geared to appeal to young audiences, as well as adults, there should have been more clarity with regards to what the ideal age range for children seeing the show should be. Some of the content is rather dark and mature for someone who was, for example, four or five years old. Nonetheless, I admire this show for its positive message and its efforts to spread it to as many generations as possible. That fact, along with the cast and the wonderful puppetry, make this an enjoyable production worth seeing.
THE FANTASTICAL, DANGEROUS JOURNEY OF Q
“The Fantastical, Dangerous Journey of Q” stars Mia/Milo Longenecker, Jacqueline Salvador, Adelaide/Matthew Dicken, Torian Brackett, Jasmin Malave, Liza Couser, Bryan S. Walton.
“The Fantastical, Dangerous Journey of Q” is written by Ric Averill and directed and choreographed by Sarah Sutliff, featuring musical director Christina Bottley, dramaturg Mak Morin, stage manager Nat DiMario, lighting design by Jo/Josie Cohen, puppet design by Rosa Douglas, and composer Dax Dupuy.
“The Fantastical, Dangerous Journey of Q” – presented by Rebel Playhouse – runs at the 14th Street Y, located at 344 E 14th Street, New York, NY, from December 1st-16th. Run time is approximately 60 minutes without intermission. For more information, please visit www.rebelplayhouse.org.