‘Sinbad: The Untold Tale’ at Imagination Stage

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Imagination Stage presents Sinbad: The Untold Tale, written by Charles Way and directed by Janet Stanford. Over the years, Imagination Stage has built up a reputation for exquisite children’s productions, and  this thrilling adventure continues to bolster  their well-earned  status.

L to R: Sarah Pretz, Wood Van Meter, Christopher Wilson,   and Rafael Untalan. Photo by  Margot Schulman.
L to R: Sarah Pretz, Wood Van Meter, Christopher Wilson, and Rafael Untalan. Photo by Margot Schulman.

Scenic Designer Natsu Onoda Power uses warm colors, patterns, and shapes to transport the audience to the Far East, where two unlikely heroes must band together to save their city from the curse of an evil sorceress! The scenery is gorgeously painted, but I also love the creativity that went into the set, including clever usage of a trap door built into the stage floor and an assortment of large blocks that are continually re-assembled to suit their environment (the ship that they create is very cool!)

Lighting Designer Zachary Gilbert and Sound Designer Christopher Baine compliment each other’s work by completing the atmosphere, my favorite scene including wavy shadows that suggested ocean waves paired with the sounds of seagulls and breezy winds.

Kendra Rai does absolute beautiful work with the costumes! The Genies are vibrant and fun, and the element of “Mist” is given its own costume as well– it requires a lot of movement, and the effect is transfixing. The technical elements of this production are professional, imaginative, and all-around top-notch, which is exactly what I have come to expect from this remarkable venue.

When the city of Bagdad finds itself in mortal peril, a poor, orphaned Porter named Sinbad (Christopher Wilson) finds himself on the unlikely mission of a lifetimes alongside Ittifaq (Courtney Ferguson), the feisty, haughty daughter of a famed sailor, played by Ricardo Frederick Evans. The two are in search of a cure for a deadly spell cast upon their city by the evil Jan Shah (Sarah Pretz), and while the task itself leads to many obstacles that must be overcome, the real complication of the journey proves to be…each other’s company. In a relationship that starts out with mutual (and hearty) dislike, the differing duo must learn how to work together in order to achieve their mutual goal.

The ensemble is an excellent one, filled with talent and flair. Christopher Wilson and Courtney Ferguson get lots of laughs as the bickering Sinbad and Ittifaq, and Wood Van Meter gives a hilarious performance without saying a single word as the Silent Genie (sometimes, it’s all in the facial expressions).

Ricardo Frederick Evans and Sarah Pretz. Photo by Photo by Margot Schulman.
Ricardo Frederick Evans and Sarah Pretz. Photo by Margot Schulman.

Rafael Untalan is another pleasing character as the loyal genie Abu Nuwas, and when the two genies come together in a showdown, it makes for an exciting scene! A lot of action and adventure is packed into this show– swordfights with skeletons and a magic flying carpet ride, to only name a couple. There was never a dull moment, and I loved every second of it!

Imagination Stage’s exotic production of Sinbad: The Untold Tale is my favorite production so far of 2015. Everyone in the family will enjoy this one, so don’t miss it!

Running Time: 90 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.

Sinbad: The Untold Tale plays through May 29, 2015 at Imagination Stage – 4908 Auburn Avenue, in Bethesda, MD. For tickets, call (301) 961-6060, or purchase them online.

RATING: FIVE-STARS-82x1555.gif