GLOVERSVILLE – A musical filled with charismatic creatures, comedy and adventure opens at the Glove Theatre this weekend.
Written and directed by Michael Maricondi, “Looking For the Little Mouse” follows Bastien, a young boy who loses his last baby tooth and is excited to see the Little Mouse (otherwise known as the Tooth Fairy), but instead meets Pépère, a giant rat who informs him that the Little Mouse has been kidnapped by an evil queen who holds the power to turn those who oppose her into cheese.
Bastien and a host of new friends set off on a journey to confront the evil queen and save the Little Mouse.
“It’s a true family show. There’s something for everyone of all ages,” said Maricondi. “It’s an upbeat and highly comedic story that teaches us all to believe in ourselves and our friends to surmount even the most difficult of challenges.”
Maricondi, also the general manager of the Glove Theatre, wrote the show while living in France in 2013.
“I was in Paris kind of at the beginning of their musical theater renaissance. There were groups of actors and groups of creators that were really interested in creating an American-style musical, which has a different style and narrative use of music that traditional French musicals don’t really have,” Maricondi said.
A group of actors approached him with the story idea and he developed it into “Looking For the Little Mouse.” They produced the show in Paris, where it played for three months of sold-out performances. It also had a two-week run in Casablanca, Morocco.
When Maricondi moved back to the United States nearly seven years ago he began translating the production and changing it to suit American audiences. He also added a song and scene, and planned to premiere it stateside in New York City in 2020, but was delayed because of the pandemic.
“Things have a strange way of working out,” Maricondi said. “Gloversville is deserving of a new work to delight its residents, young and old. I think the show’s necessary postponement was the universe’s way of saying, ‘The time and place is yet to come,’ and I am overjoyed the area will be the first to witness the North American premiere of this new work.”
He’s been working with a small cast of five actors since April to stage the show at the Glove.
“It feels incredible. I’ve been holding the show in my head for seven years since I got back from France,” Maricondi said.
Produced by Trust Your Gut Productions, it’s the first new work to be staged at the theater in many years, though the theater’s Summer Academy creates original musical works with the youth of Gloversville.
All of the actors are local talent in their first professional paid gigs and were mentored by established community pillars such as Jennifer Flynn and Stanley Bojarski of the Gloversville Enlarged School District.
“It is a rewarding experience to see my drama club students from middle school to high school making their professional acting début at the Glove in a new musical work,” Bojarski said.
The cast includes Sonny Duross, Olivia Hanifan, Tommy Kluska, Jay White and Megan Hayner.
“As someone who’s performed for many years and for many different directors, it’s refreshing to dive back into a musical and have [our] individual talents recognized and respected enough to be put on payroll for the time,” Kluska said.
Maricondi hopes the production will pave the way for a preprofessional program that will see up-and-coming artists matriculate from the summer kids’ show (grades K-12) into the academy (grades 7-12), and then into pre-professional and professional shows.
For now, the focus is all on “Looking For the Little Mouse.” It’s a family-friendly musical, though there is also some adult humor.
“We do a lot of commedia dell’arte kind of direction and comedic bits. We can’t keep a straight face in rehearsal. It’s so funny,” Maricondi said.
The costumes, designed by Eric Steding, feature a mix of playful garments.
“They’re very whimsical, very colorful. It really mixes in that kind of hand-drawn storybook feel with a bit of Grimm’s fairy tales,” Maricondi said.
The show opens Friday with showtimes through Sunday. It runs for an hour and 10 minutes with no intermission.
‘Looking For the Little Mouse’
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: The Glove Theatre, 42 North Main St., Gloversville
MORE INFO: theglovetheatre.com
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Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts, Life and Arts