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L.A. Beat

The Tooth Fairy is a load of laughs — and that’s the ‘tooth’

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When you hear a production includes not only puppets, but the tooth fairy, you know it’s going to be an interesting experience.The Tooth Fairy is a ‘hoot’. Photo by Old Trout Puppet Workshop
 So The Old Trout Puppet Workshop’s production of ‘The Tooth Fairy, which New West Theatre has running at the Yates through to May 8, does not disappoint.

In an hour’s span, it covers a range of emotions. It begins kind of sadly  as the cast, clad in grey with big black boots, marches their way onto the stage and introduces the main character, Abigail, a little girl who has a perfect smile which is beloved by the whole village, but who is kept inside by her strict grandfather to preserve her smile.
But it soon becomes plain hilarious, especially watching the puppets, most of which the actors wear over their heads and maneuver their arms with sticks.

Abigail, played by Kyla Read, really does have the perfect  smile, which is enhanced when she puts a mini boat around her neck  and her grandpa’s Viking helmet on her head while  grandpa puts a scare into her about the evil Tooth Fairy. This causes Abigail to run away from home to find the tooth fairy and stop him from taking her perfect teeth.

 She had has a variety of adventures along the way, but manages to smile her way through them and keep her innocence, not to mention positive attitude alive throughout.
 She meets the evil Captain Blee, who has the best maniacal laugh ever, but also has a sensitive side.
And somehow one of his crew puppets manages to convey an impressive look of surprise upon discovering it.


 Unfortuantely the dialogue delivered from the ‘ship’s’ deck is a little muffled, but just watching the action is hilarious. 

That’s also  when the Tooth Fairy starts to get a little strange.
 The major set piece, which serves multiple duties including Abigail and her grandpa’s home, the evil ship and the Tooth Fairy’s castle, transforms into a talking whale called Leopold with actors playing  the whale’s eye, blowhole (in a snorkel and goggles) and the whale’s tongue, which eats the Captain just in time to save Abigail from some unwanted dental work, but gets jealous of Abigail’s perfect smile and causes a storm which send her  to the frozen Arctic.
There she meets another great character — an evil marooned sailor who she calls Mr. Fellow who tricks her and  steals her boat, and then grandpa turns into a giant bird and saves her.

 I won’t spoil the rest for you, but it gets a little dark after that and then the audience must suspend their disbelief.
Throughout there are some pretty strange but hilarious songs, some really nice vocal harmonies and a beautiful vocal solo from Read.
Overall the play had the audience, consisting of a lot of children and quite a few adults, laughing throughout. The puppets are really well crafted as are the  quirky characters and the cast has a lot of manic energy. I love their evil laughs and their adventures.
It’s a really entertaining way to spend an hour out at the theatre.
The play  runs at 7 p.m. May 7 plus 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on May 8.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
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