Metro Theatre
The Pied Piper

When & Where March 18 – 26, 2023, matinees 1:00 and 3:30 Saturdays and Sundays. Metro Theatre, 1370 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver. Tickets can be purchased by calling 604 266 7191.

Director/Writer Catherine Morrison Musical Director Nicola Davies Choreographer Allyson Riley Production Manager Catherine Morrison Stage Manager Shay Cameron Props Susan Munkeskov Costume Designer Rene Schindel Lighting Designer Les Erskine Sound Designer Catherine Morrison, Les Erskine Scenic Painting Emily Dotson

Reviewer Christian Steckler

A fresh change has come our way in the production of the children’s classic, The Pied Piper. The familiar story recounts the solution to a rat infestation in a German village at the turn of the 20th Century, that duplicity turns into a crisis. The customary excellent production values of the Metro Theatre are present in this delightful presentation. The theatre attendance at this weekend matinee production was, as expected, mostly children of various ages, and the performance delighted and engaged everyone.

Morrison’s vision of this production plays out beautifully, with care taken to make it understandable and enjoyable for even the youngest audience members. The action of the colourful ensemble is carefully directed to move the story forward clearly, with just the right proportions of suspense, entertainment and fun. The main characters - those with frequent speaking parts - are brightly entertaining. Dan Meredith is a natural as the Pied Piper, fun, caring, and just a bit mischievous - so likeable! Adam Abrams, as the mayor, brilliantly exhibits the meagre extent of honesty in politics; and Kimball Finnegan as the assistant mayor is superb in his bombastic manipulation of the mayor and citizens. The widow, played by Shannon Hunt, who sets her mind on snaring him, gives a shining performance, capturing both appreciation and disdain from the audience for her character. Chris Hall and Jamie Ives prove convincingly that their characters, Robert and Frederick, are the most honourable in the community.

Other performers, Marcia Strang, Sasha Ye, Camille Musseau, Cherica Onate, Christine Santa Maria, Chrissy Thomson, Railli McCarthy, Jon Morris, Tom Moody, Ugo Nwachuka and Kevin Sloan, give strong performances that keep the audience involved, laughing, and clapping. Special mention must be made of Helen Volkow, the narrator, who entertains the audience at points throughout the performance. Her ability to use just the right degree of over-acting at times, to engage the children in the audience, is admirable and engaging.

This colourful production highlights other performers - the children of the town - whose singing and dancing talents shine, bringing life and joy to the performance. Thanks and admiration go to Ty Paine, Aggeliki Panago, Holly Muter, Iga Roth, Isabella Ablett, Jada Rosario and Norah Brokenshire for their fine abilities and performances. The musical direction and choreography bring exuberant life to this production. Mention must also be made of the fine costumes, sets, lighting and sound that bring colour and magic to this production. The costumes are stunning, and the sets beautifully designed. Lighting and sound are superbly timed and appropriate at every turn.

The Pied Piper is an old chestnut that has entertained, and guided people’s integrity for decades. It’s definitely good for children to discover. This Metro Theatre production checks all the boxes for an entertaining performance, no matter what age views it. Treat yourself and your family. See it.

© Christian Steckler
Photo credits Les Erskine