Mirvish Productions Speaks for the Trees
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax at the Royal Alexandra Theatre
Anna Zappone CONTRIBUTOR
Photo: Anna Zappone / THE MIKE.
As a young girl, some of my earliest memories are from trips to the theatre to watch plays, ballets and other wonderful shows with my aunt. Being dazzled by the stage lights gave me a passion for the arts that has stayed with me all my life. The magnificence of the detailed architectural work, old theatre chairs, seeing the larger-than-life stage designs, and hearing the audience laugh and engage in the show transported me into the world of the show.
I was greeted with the same awe when I walked into the Royal Alexandra Theatre on Friday, January 19, to watch The Lorax. The story follows the tale of the Once-ler, played by Simon Paisley Day, who explains how he was a creative man who was confined to his family business. In search of the newest big invention, the Once-ler adventures to faraway places before encountering a forest full of Truffula trees, which are home to the Lorax. Despite the strong efforts made by the Lorax to show him the true natural benefits the trees have to offer, the Once-ler is blinded by the profit he sees in turning the trees into Thneeds, his latest profitable discovery. The expansion of the Thneed business moves masses into the once forested area that is now home to many cities. Against the Lorax’s pleas, the forest is eventually cut entirely, leaving the animals with their forgotten homes that are now nothing but bare and polluted. Realizing the wrong he has done, the Once-ler retires to his lonely home until decades later when the young boy forcing him to tell his story regrows the first Truffula tree and sparks a new era dedicated to the importance of green spaces.
The stage adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss story stays true to its origins. The witty rhymes and the liveliness of the Lorax were truly commendable. While they didn’t venture into the Truffula forests of Toronto and find a real Lorax to play the part, the three puppeteers that maneuvered every action, David Ricardo-Pearce, Laura Caldow and Romina Hytten, brought the character to life. Jokes ranging from flatulence to air duct cleaning calls made the show fun for all ages while Charlie Fink made sure to include wide varieties from all music genres like rock, pop, and even folk. The story’s message of helping the environment is one that did not stop when the lights went down. As you left the venue, packets of vegetables seeds were given out to further advocate for the environment.
Overall, the two-hour show made for a fun and memorable time. Although the final performance was on January 21, there are many more opportunities to experience shows through the Ed Mirvish Theatre. King Charles III and Come From Away will be opening in the next few months. Grab a friend, a family member, or a loved one and enjoy a night at the theatre.