If You Give a Mouse a Cookie | Theater | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Culture » Theater

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

New theater productions offer comedy, cookies and Christmas cheer.

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Before the opening-night performance of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a Salt Lake Acting Company staffer instructed young audience members about the way a play is different from a movie or a TV show. If there were any concerns that the production wouldn’t keep kids enthralled, they can now be dispelled.

Director Penelope Caywood oversees a simply delightful version of Laura Numeroff’s charming picture book—adapted by Jody Davidson—about an unnamed young boy (Michael Gardner) whose encounter with a mouse (Dustin Bolt) leads to a very eventful afternoon. Starting with the innocent offer of a cookie to the mouse, they turn the boy’s house—particularly the kitchen, fancifully pitched at a perfect kid’s-eye-view scale by Keven Myhre—upside-down.

Read the review of Around the World in 80 Days
Read the review of White Christmas

And it’s hard to imagine a more joyous celebration of the energy and imagination of children. The boy and the mouse play a game of dueling “instruments” with straws; the boy tricks the mouse with a “mirror” that leads to an homage to a classic scene from the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup; and the mouse acts out the adventure as the boy reads from his Jungle Man comic book. Both actors are appealing, but Bolt throws himself physically into his role, including a goofy dance montage that incorporates everything from the macarena to “Single Ladies.”

In a way, Cookie plays almost as a case study in perfect family-friendly theater. It doesn’t treat kids as creatures with no attention span. It respects them, and all the creativity they can bring to storytelling. 

IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE
Salt Lake Acting Company
168 W. 500 North
801-363-7522
Through Dec. 26
$12-$25
SaltLakeActingCompany.org

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