That’s the brilliance of Shel Silverstein. In fact, his genius is so enduring that as I looked around the room at A Silly Silverstein Show I saw mostly big kids like me who have such fond memories of Silverstein’s work that they jump at the chance to see it performed. In terms of this production, it is certainly enjoyable to see the work done…
The two main stories told are “The Giving Tree” and “The Missing Piece.” Both stories are broken up into several segments with other poems and songs by Silverstein in between the segments. There is live music that goes along with the show with instruments ranging from cello to plastic pan flute and even adidgeridoo.
The actors are all dressed in black and they each perform various roles. The ensemble is talented and they do their very best at animating the characters in the poems and songs they perform. Luke Santy stands out as the company’s musical director. He plays all the instruments, sings a song or two, and narrates a shadow puppet piece about a cuttle fish. He is very impressive and the cuttle fish shadow puppet number is among the best of the show. I also especially enjoyed the performances of Rob Hill as “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout” (the girl who wouldn’t take the garbage out) and Sarah Whalen as the Giving Tree and in “Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony.”
From Andy Probst (AmericanTheaterWeb)
The ensemble cast of A Silly Silverstein Show delivers a snappy package of stories, songs, puppetry and poetry that is visually stimulating and, yes, delightfully silly.
A boy dreams of making his teachers memorize 100 books for homework; a girl refuses to take out the smelly trash; The Missing Piece looks for his place. Works of Shel Silverstein join with music by the author and Pat Dailey in a concept by Jessica Marie Lorence, who directs and designs the puppets.
Props are large, bright and appealing to youngsters. A shadow box, showing a train receding with its fish passenger, is particularly clever.
Providing cohesion is the excellent Luke Santy who doubles as music director and narrator. He reacts genuinely to the the silliness taking place on stage where, throughout the show, he uses a seemingly endless supply of scintillating musical instruments and noisemakers to enhance the presentations.