By Victoria L. Dammer
Magic and the fantasy of storytelling have been brought back to life in splendid fashion with Broadway International Group’s production of The Little Prince at the Broadway Theatre after sold-out performances in Paris, Sydney, and Dubai.
The theater was abuzz with children and adults of all ages who flocked to see aerial acrobatics that mesmerized the crowd, spectacular lighting, and unique dance formations, all with the use of video mapping technology that entertained and delighted the audience for almost two hours.
The Little Prince, a short novella written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, was first published in the U.S. in 1943 and posthumously in France after the liberation. Saint-Exupery’s book has sold over 200 million copies worldwide and translated into more than 250 languages. The stage production at the Broadway Theater did not disappoint the crowd.
Smoke machines gave the spotlights an ethereal feeling, setting the stage to introduce the favorite characters in the story. The Narrator (Chris Mouron) explains the storyline children understand the world and not adults, and we see him crash somewhere in the desert as The Aviator(Aurelien Bednarek). The Aviator encounters The Little Prince (Lionel Zalachas), a visitor to planet Earth. The prince has left his world searching for love and the rest of the universe.
At home, The Little Prince had fallen in love with The Rose (Laurisse Sultry), a symbol of universal love that drives him to leave his planet once she scorns him, yet love reminds him of his desire to return home. The first dance scene between the prince and the rose was a beautiful display of interpretive dancing and ballet, with both actors entwined in one another’s arms.
Readers of Saint-Exupery’s book will encounter the characters dispersed throughout the production, such as the King (Joan Bertrand), who requires obedience but has no subjects. We also meet The Vain Man (Antony Cesar), so conceited he wants nothing but flattery, and The Snake (Srilata Ray), who twists a tale like the original snake in the Garden of Eden. He tells the boy he can help him return home, and just like the end of the book, we question whether the snake bites the prince and kills him or if the boy returns to his planet. All stage interactions of each character and the ensuing dance productions were spellbinding and choreographed to perfection. The costume designs were exquisite.
Stage production was Salvadore Dali-esque, enhancing the visuals to an eye-pleasing level.
The book’s principal theme and the stage production ask the same question. Filled with love, is the prince searching for answers to his emotional questions just as important as the answers he encounters on his journey? Literature lovers and the audience is left to decide.
THE LITTLE PRINCE, presented by special arrangement with Rick Cummins and the estate of John Scoullar.
The award-winning creative team for The Little Prince is led by director and choreographer Anne Tournié, with librettist and co-director by Chris Mouron; original music by Terry Truck; video design by Marie Jumelin; costume design by Peggy Housset; lighting design by Stéphane Fritsch; sound design by Tristan Viscogliosi; video projection by Etienne Beaussart; hair and makeup design by Carmen Arbues Miro; and props design by Aurélie Gandilhon. The show’s company of international performers includes Lionel Zalachas (The Little Prince), Chris Mouron (The Narrator), Aurélien Bednarek (The Aviator), Dylan Barone (The Fox), Laurisse Sulty (The Rose), Antony Cesar (The Vain Man/The Aviator Tribute), Adrien Picaut (The Businessman), Marie Menuge (The Drunkard), Marcin Janiak (The Lamplighter), Srilata Ray (The Snake), Joän Bertrand (The King), William John Banks (The Switchman), Christian Denice (Ensemble), George Sanders (Ensemble), Iris Beaumier (The Narrator Alternate), Pawel Walczewski (The Vain Man & Aviator Tribute Alternate), and Madison Ward (The Snake Alternate).
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for The Little Prince are on sale now at TheLittlePrinceBroadway.com and Telecharge.com and by phone at 212-239-6200. Tickets are also available in person at the Broadway Theatre box office (1681 Broadway at 53rd Street). Box office hours are Monday-Saturday from 10:00am-8:30pm and Sunday from 12:00- 6:30pm. On Sunday matinee performance days, the box office will open at 11:00am. On Sunday evening performance days, the box office will close 30 minutes after curtain. Tickets for groups of ten or more are available through Broadway Inbound at www.broadwayinbound.com or by calling 866-302-0995.
Running time is approximately 1 hour 50 minutes, including intermission.