Scotland Troupe Crowns Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince at NYC's New Victory April 29-May 8

News   Scotland Troupe Crowns Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince at NYC's New Victory April 29-May 8 A new stage version of Oscar Wilde's fable, "The Happy Prince," ascends the throne of The New Victory Theater, the epicenter of family fare on 42nd Street in Manhattan, April 29-May 8.
From Left: Veronica Leer and Paul Cunningham in The Happy Prince
From Left: Veronica Leer and Paul Cunningham in The Happy Prince Photo by macrobert/Bill Armitage

The production by Scotland's macrobert productions is "story within a story" in which "two rival raconteurs must scour an enchanted park searching for the clues that will piece together the legend of The Happy Prince." The work is "supported by a cast of inventive puppets and equipped with an array of off-beat costumes."

The pair will "discover the secret behind a sorrowful, jeweled covered statue and a once prosperous town in desperate need of a miracle."

The macrobert company was seen by New York audiences with The Red Balloon (2000) and Martha (2001). Annie Wood directs.

Here's how macrobert describes its latest work: "Determined to single handedly narrate the story of The Happy Prince, two arch adversaries cross paths in an abandoned park. To their surprise, the tale has been left scattered in pieces throughout the grounds forcing them to work together to complete their tasks. As they search beneath benches, behind rocks and within the overgrown grass for clues, they quickly unscramble the story and give it life using everyday items as props: thrown away scraps of cloth and wooden spoons transform into an adorable puppet child; a clump of candy bar wrappers and old chips bags morphs into a majestic cape; and a few tall branches become wings that whisk the storytellers up over the city to far away lands…

"As the pieces come together, the story unfolds: High atop a mountain overlooking a modest town stands a jeweled tribute to the happiest prince that ever lived. As the town slowly slips into poverty and despair, this sight, and the fact that he cannot save his beloved kingdom, torments the statue. His lament is overheard by a world-traveling swallow who befriends the generous statue and agrees to help restore happiness to his suffering people." The story was written in 1888.

Established in 1971, macrobert was Scotland’s first arts center and it is now recognized as a national institute for excellence in developing work with and for young people. Located on the campus of the University of Stirling, the company "strives to create and present a wide range of work by collaborating with a variety of artists and companies." In October 2000, following a massive refurbishment, macrobert reopened its doors to include a brand new film house, a children's gallery, a day care center, a café and Scotland’s first theatre space dedicated solely to children's programming.

The performance schedule for The Happy Prince at The New Victory Theater is April 29 at 2 & 7 PM, April 30 at noon and 5 PM, May 1 at noon and 5 PM, May 6 at 7 PM, May 7 at noon and 5 PM, May 8 at noon and 5 PM. Tickets are $10, $20 and $30 and can be ordered by visiting Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.

Tickets are also on sale at the New Victory box office, 209 West 42nd Street, just west of Broadway.

Visit www.newvictory.org.

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The New Victory Theater, a New 42nd Street project, is New York City's premier theatre for kids and families. Built by Oscar Hammerstein in 1900 and opened as the Theatre Republic, it established 42nd Street as the heart of New York's theatre district. Ninety-five years later, The New Victory was the first historic theatre to be renovated on the block, and its opening, on Dec. 11, 1995, sparked the renaissance of 42nd Street. Today it is one of the city's most respected cultural institutions.

Among its recent tenants were Shockheaded Peter, Grimm Tales and The Junebug Symphony; dance companies like the Seán Curran Company and Rennie Harris Puremovement; puppetry masterpieces like Kwaidan and Peter and Wendy; new vaudeville/circus spectacles like AntiGravit's Crash Test Dummies and the Circus Oz; and Tony-nominated, Broadway-transfers like A Year With Frog and Toad and It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues.

Founded in 1990, The New 42nd Street Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization charged with long-term responsibility for seven historic theatres on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. In addition to running The New Victory Theater, The New 42nd Street Inc. built and operates the New 42nd Street Studios — a 10-story building of rehearsal studios, offices and a 199-seat, workshop/experimental theatre named The Duke on 42nd Streets — for national and international performing arts companies.

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