I finished the Fringe Festival with a midafternoon showing of Critters by Puppets in Performance at the YMRC. I was at this venue on Saturday and it nearly ruined the show for me but I wasn’t worried about today. I figured, it is Sunday, hopefully a quieter crowd will be drinking at the bar. No such luck. The sound of the game on the TV filtered into the performance space but this subtle sound could be overlooked. What could not be overlooked was someone turning the jukebox up halfway through the performance. I could see the look of disappointment and frustration across the faces of the Fringe volunteers as well as the puppeteer.
Beside the noise I felt bad because my daughter and I were the only two in the audience. Too bad if you missed it, the show was really, really cute. Each of the puppets, except for the dog were handmade and exuded tons of personality. The show began with a Critters Theme Song performed by Suzanna, a cutie in pigtails and a straw hat. There were 6 skits which followed, each incorporating different animals. Playing Opossum, about an opossum teaching a cat how to play ‘opossum’. Next, The Magic Beaver, which taught me a few things about beavers and their contribution to a healthy and sustainable planet, Skunks Stink about a skunk attempting to sell perfume to a red fox and my favorite, a clever skit between a rabbit and a wolf titled, To Meet or Not to Meet. The show finished with another original song, Dangerous Dog, sung by the cutest floppy eared puppy puppet I’ve ever seen.
Critters wasn’t avant garde, it wasn’t controversial, political or highly emotive but it was cute and held my attention. I heard my 14 year old laughing quite a bit as well. If you know anything about teenage girls then you know Critters must have been fun!