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By Chanin Victor
Observer Staff Editor 

REVIEW: Animal Farm, George Orwell's Classic Beast Fable Reimagined With Song

A Noise Within Theater in Pasadena Presents Animal Farm through October 2. Tickets start at $25

 

September 5, 2022

Courtesy A Noise Within

Deborah Strang, Rafael Goldstein, Stanley Andrew Jackson III, Trisha Miller and Nicole Javier Photo by Craig Schwartz

Despite the 111-degree temperatures in Pasadena this weekend, the show must go on, and we're glad we braved the heat!

The recently opened Animal Farm -the inaugural production of A Noise Within's 31st season-is a musical adaptation from Sir Peter Hall that even your middle school child would appreciate and could easily make heads and tails of; pun intended. George Orwell's novel Animal Farm, first published in 1945, is a satirical allegory in which the animals of Manor Farm rise up against their oppressive humans in a struggle for rights and equality. At first, they're an exemplary democratic society where the animals contentedly share equal output and opportunities to become masters of their own fate. Eventually, societal tendencies toward class stratification occur. Power begins to corrupt, and the pigs begin to 'take the reins' over the more naive working class. The proposed animalism of the swine soon gives in to fascism, and they ultimately decide "some animals are more equal than others".

A strong ensemble cast-of actors playing animals-entertains as the exploited beasts of burden through amusing music by Richard Peaslee and engaging lyrics by Adrian Mitchell. Semi-barren yet purposeful scenery and imaginative costumes-by Angela Balogh Callin-evoke a bygone era and the totalitarianism of a time only a century ago. Even if you haven't read Orwell's novel, the rhetoric is recognizable in our current-day politics, and A Noise Within audiences need only use their imaginations to understand the story being dramatized is one that's been repeated throughout human existence. It's relatable and unpretentious; a melodrama easily digestible by all ages. Young or old, it's worth seeing this swiftly-moving, inspired theatrical adaptation full of incredible acting and voices.

The Pasadena theater, A Noise Within, was called "an oasis for those who love classic stories" by the Los Angeles Times and the award-winning resident company is committed to representing the entire community at its state-of-the-art, 324-seat performance space. They also run robust education programs for diverse audiences of all ages.

Performances of Animal Farm run through October 2 on Fridays at 8 p.m .; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m .; and Sundays at 2 p.m. There will be one additional performance, on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. (please note early curtain time).

Post-performance conversations with the artists will take place on Fridays, Sept. 9; Sept.16; Sept. 23; and Sept. 30, and on Sunday, Sept. 11 (included in ticket price). An INsiders Discussion Group will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 6 p.m.–8 p.m. on Zoom ($38 per individual or $45 per household). In addition, there will be 10 student matinees at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6; Wednesday, Sept. 7; Tuesday, Sept. 13; Wednesday, Sept. 14; Thursday, Sept. 15; Tuesday, Sept. 20; Wednesday, Sept. 21; Thursday, Sept. 22; Tuesday, Sept. 27; and Wednesday, Sept. 28. Interested educators should email [email protected]

Courtesy A Noise Within

The Ensemble Photo by Craig Schwartz

Tickets start at $25. Student tickets start at $18. Tickets to the preview on Thursday, Sept. 1 will be Pay What You Choose, with tickets starting at $5 (available online beginning at 12 p.m. the Monday prior to that performance). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

A Noise Within is located at 3352 E Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107.

Parking:

• Free parking is available directly behind the theater at the Sierra Madre Villa Metro parking structure,149 N. Halstead St.

• Walking directions from the Metro station here: https://www.anoisewithin.org/plan-your-visit/maps-parking/

To purchase tickets and for more information, including up-to-date Covid-19 safety protocols on the date of each performance, call (626) 353-3100 or go to http://www.anoisewithin.org

 

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