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Photograph by Chris Copeland
TRAVEL PLANS: The Little Prince (Carolyn DiLoreto) sits down with the Aviator (Hank Lawson) in Tabard Theatre's new show.


Tabard Theatre captures the timeless spirit of 'The Little Prince'

By Giuseppina Chiaramonte

ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY'S famous children's book The Little Prince is an imaginative story that has always been a little difficult to portray through visual means. However, Tabard Theatre Company's production manages to capture the simplicity and charm of this timeless tale while highlighting the philosophic message underneath. Using ethereal music and an otherworldly set, director Andrew Ceglio that transports audiences to Africa, across the universe and beyond the confines of their own mind. The Little Prince relates the story of an Aviator who, while stranded in the Sahara desert, encounters an extraterrestrial with peculiar notions and a burning curiosity. This alien, the Little Prince, describes to the Aviator his journey across the galaxy and the personages he has met along the way. From the vain Rose to the King, from the Business Man to the Lamplighter, from the Snake to the Fox, the Little Prince unveils for the Aviator (and for us as well) how absolutely ridiculous adults can be sometimes.

Tabard has assembled a capable cast to depict this multifaceted tale. Carolyn DiLoreto successfully captures the innocence and curiosity of the Little Prince. She reminds us that this is the prince's story and that we are merely listeners. Doug Baird captivates with his delightful portrayal of the Men on the Planets, truly embodying the essence of the book. Ana-Catrina Buscher and Ariel Buck give life to the Rose and the Fox, and Hank Lawson accompanies the audience on the journey back to childhood.

The beauty of The Little Prince lies not in the story itself but in the message it relays. Like the Aviator, the audience is forced to re-evaluate what is important in life and rediscover what was lost when we stopped being children and decided to grow up. It forces us to see what is invisible and appreciate what we love. Both kids and adults can benefit from the play. Children can relate to the Little Prince's character and adults can be spurred by the Little Prince's wisdom. In a technological age where TV and video games are constantly vying for children's attention, The Little Prince reminds us to use our imagination.

THE LITTLE PRINCE, a Tabard Theatre Company production, plays Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3 and 8pm and Sunday at 2pm through Feb. 14 at Theater on San Pedro Square, 29 N. San Pedro St., San Jose. Tickets are $10–$20. (408.679.2330)

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