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The Carp Who Would Not Quit - a perfect introduction to theater.

The Carp Who Would Not Quit is a transporting and inspiring show for preschoolers and their families. I was fortunate enough to attend the show at the Cargill Stage at the Children's Theatre Company (presented by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth Ensemble) on its opening weekend. I was very excited to attend because I went to see the show with my three and half year old in tow and this was the first time I was sharing my love of theater with him, and the experience and show did not disappoint.

The 50 minute performance is split into multiple Japanese folktales - all with animals at their center and a heartwarming or inspiration moral tied in. The stories were told with music, puppets and had many interactive components that helped keep the many kids in the audience engaged. The way the performance was broken down into multiple stories also greatly aided the viewing experience of my son - allowing him a reset every 5-7 minutes and a moment for me to check in with him.

As an adult I was just as captured by the stories. The stage was mostly bare save for a few props and costumes and instruments (the koto, taiko drum and shakuhachi). The magic of this production came from the music, the performances and puppets and allowed for imaginations to run wild. The way the story was told reminded me of one of my favorite local theater companies Transatlantic Love Affair. I was blown away by the performances of the small three person cast and their ability to simultaneously play instruments and tell a transporting story.

I left the theater with my son last Sunday with both of us beaming. He is usually one to answer a question with "I don't know" but was more than willing to talk about his favorite parts and characters of the performance. We have continued to talk about the show in the days since the performance and about our favorite song about making mochi.

The Carp Who Would Not Quit is playing on the Cargill Stage at the Children's Theatre Company now through February 18th. It is a fantastic show for those new to the theater or for little ones just being introduced to the art form. Click here for more information about the show and how to get tickets.


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