By Edward Kliszus
Charming only begins to describe Peter & the Wolf by Works & Process at the Guggenheim. Originally commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow in 1936, tonight’s performance was curated and narrated by the inimitable stage luminary Isaac Mizrahi.
Prokofiev’s musical masterpiece came to life through Mizrahi’s delightful repartée, a coterie of splendid musicians, superb dancers, and sublime costuming. The lighting, sound, and set design were fabulous.
Isaac Mizrahi is known for his flamboyant personality and infectious energy. He captivated tonight’s audience of adults and children with his unique style, humor, and charismatic stage presence. Mizrahi is a multi-talented performer, excelling in fashion design, acting, and cabaret performance. His innate showmanship and theatricality have set him apart as a true icon of New York’s vibrant cultural scene.
The program began with Mizrahi introducing each of the orchestra’s instruments and their parts in portraying characters in the Peter and the Wolf tale. Instruments demonstrated melody and sound befitting each character. Flutist Anjali Shinde performed her theme that sounded like this:
This delightful production captured the imagination of both young and old. The work portrays the story of a young boy, Peter, and his adventures with his grandfather, hunter, and animal friends, including a duck, a bird, and a cat, as they discover a wolf in the forest. Of course, our Peter’s adventures took place in Central Park.
Tonight’s performance captured the hearts and imaginations of the audience. Children exclaimed, giggled, and reacted to the work’s charm and beauty as a testament to Mizarahi’s aplomb in staging Prokofiev’s captivating musical story. Grandfather even tap danced!
Peter & the Wolf by Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Conceived, Directed, Narrated, and Designed by Isaac Mizrahi
Conducted by Michael P. Atkinson
Costumes by Isaac Mizrahi
Choreography by John Heginbotham
Lighting Design by Brandon Stirling Baker
Peter (strings) Kara Chan
Birdie (flute) Paige Barnett Kulbeth
Grandfather (bassoon) Norton Owen
Wolf (French horn) Daniel Pettrow
Duck (oboe) Marjorie Folkman
Hunter (timpani) Derrick Arthur
Cat (clarinet) Zach Gonder
Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect
Anjali Shinde, Flute
Joseph Jordan, Oboe
Bixby Kennedy, Clarinet
Marty Tung, Bassoon
Ryan Dresen, Horn
Oliver Xu, Percussion
Brandon Ilaw, Percussion
Joanne Kang, Piano
David Bernat, Violin
Rubén Rengel, Violin
Ramón Carrero-Martínez, Viola
Thapelo Masita, Cello
Marguerite Cox, Bass
Runtime about 30 minutes
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128
(Between 88th and 89th Streets)
Works & Process Ticket information at Guggenheim.org
Looking ahead: December 15 and 16 for Third Bird, Isaac Mizrahi, and Nico Muhly’s homage to Peter & the Wolf.