Geffen Playhouse musical for teenagers is COVID-19 pandemic reduction

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A couple of minutes into the primary music within the Geffen Playhouse’s new digital musical for teenagers, “The Door You By no means Noticed Earlier than,” I discovered myself weeping whereas the kids sitting with me within the eating room stared in embarrassed horror, double-checking that I used to be not on the Zoom display we shared with a few dozen different elementary school-age contributors.

The music, carried out by the irrepressible Gabrielle Maiden, is in regards to the yr we’ve got all simply lived via — about being caught inside, about not seeing mates or partaking in common actions.

“You’re inside your own home, and also you’re caught,” sings Maiden, who performs a personality known as Your Voice and who tells these within the viewers that she is the voice of their heads. “Days turned to weeks, to months, to a yr.”

I may completely relate to that, and being somebody who cries throughout diaper commercials and the occasional prescription medicine advert, the music hit me squarely within the emotional photo voltaic plexus.

The youngsters with whom I used to be watching — my 5-year-old daughter, Henri; my 7-year-old nephew, Ridley; and my 10-year-old niece, Cleo — displayed a psychological fortitude seemingly out of my attain as they bounced alongside to the music, longing for what the present had in retailer.

They’d been mailed an “journey suitcase,” which arrived at the home a few week earlier than our scheduled efficiency. All these packages have change into an indicator of the Geffen’s pandemic slate of interactive on-line programming, supplied via the final yr below the Geffen Stayhouse banner.

Within the days main as much as the present, this small brown field with a plastic deal with turned the thing of a lot hypothesis among the many cousins. What may presumably be in it? Would there be sweet? If that’s the case, would it not be sufficient to share? A observe accompanying the field strictly forbade it being opened till the efficiency.

The contents of the field, which I cannot reveal right here as a result of that might spoil the enjoyable, pair with plot factors within the present, serving to to information the younger viewers members via the motion through props, actions and puzzles.

“The Door You By no means Noticed Earlier than,” directed by Katie Lindsay, with guide, music and lyrics by Matt Schatz, is dubbed a “choosical musical” as a result of it’s organized round breakout rooms that spirit the present’s contributors down completely different paths towards a jubilant conclusion.

Michael Faulkner in "The Door You Never Saw Before."

Michael Faulkner because the Stench within the Geffen Stayhouse manufacturing ofThe Door You By no means Noticed Earlier than.”

(Geffen Playhouse)

The motion unfolds within the Harmonious Land of Harmonicania, the place a heinous villain known as the Stench has taken over the town with an outsize flatulence that has cleared out most of its inhabitants. Participant kids are enlisted to assist Maiden discover the mayor to offer him a particular medal that can assist him defeat the Stench, performed with turgid bombast by Michael Faulkner.

Alongside the way in which, kids select which door to open or not open, and whether or not to go to the overpass or underpass, the misplaced and located or the library. Faulkner and a 3rd actor, the humorous and fascinating Shyla Lefner, seem in numerous costumes enjoying quite a lot of characters whose songs gently faucet into deep feelings kids might have handled throughout an isolating yr.

There’s an harmless tenderness to the present, which stresses that even probably the most troublesome obstacles will be overcome with creativity, gumption and teamwork. The message appeared to resonate with Henri, Ridley and Cleo, though they misplaced all collaborative resourcefulness when it got here time to take turns with the contents of the journey suitcase. (This mum or dad recommends you order a separate suitcase for each youngster participant in your loved ones.)

And remember to carry a field of tissues to the present. The youngsters seemingly gained’t want it, however you simply would possibly.

‘The Door You By no means Noticed Earlier than: A Choosical Musical’

The place: Geffen Stayhouse digital theater through Zoom

When: 11 a.m. and a pair of p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, via June 27

Tickets: $55 to $85 per family (topic to vary); further journey suitcases are $25 every. Beneficial for ages 6 to 9

Information: (310) 208-2028 or www.geffenplayhouse.org

Operating time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (no intermission)

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