A Winnie the Pooh Birthday Tail
TYKEs Ventures into the Hundred-Acre Wood
TYKEs (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy) continues its 16th season with the musical A Winnie the Pooh Birthday Tail, based on A.A. Milne’s world-famous Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Show dates are Saturday, January 18 and 25 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sunday, January 19 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, January 26 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Hart Theater at the JCC, 1200 Edgewood Avenue in Brighton. Tickets cost $20 ($18 for JCC members).
The show opens on National Winnie the Pooh Day (yes, it’s a real thing!), observed annually on January 18 in honor of Milne’s January 18, 1882 birthday. Milne’s lovable Pooh Bear was inspired by a black bear named Winnie who lived at the London Zoo during World War I. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, went to see the bear often and named his own teddy bear after her and a swan named Pooh. This was the inspiration for a collection of books starting with Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926.
TYKEs’ musical, characterized by show director Matt Mayne as “a classic for all generations,” is recommended for kids ages three and up.
Plot-wise, Eeyore, the old gray donkey who lives by himself in the thistle corner of the Hundred-Acre Wood, is miserable when he realizes he lost his tail on the day before his birthday. Pooh and Piglet assemble all of their friends and relations, including a very bouncy Tigger, to organize a search – and a birthday celebration. This high-energy musical adventure revolves around the themes of friendship and teamwork.
TYKEs’ shows feature adult professional actors performing for children, families and school groups. Freyda Schneider, TYKEs’ founder and director explains, “There is so much vibrant activity in this show, audiences will be amazed at the exuberance of the actors on stage. There’s even a scene where kids can get up and sing and dance with the beloved characters. The show blends strong comedic elements with some really beautiful and poignant moments.” Always mindful of the adults in the audience, Schneider believes, “grown-ups will recognize and appreciate the show’s message about not just having friends but really cultivating those relationships with the people around you.”
Milne’s Pooh stories have been translated into many languages, including a Latin version that became the only Latin book ever to have been featured on The New York Times Best Seller list. A full 80 years after the first Pooh book was released, the iconic character received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.
The musical’s book, music and lyrics were written by James W. Rodgers. TYKEs’ production is sponsored by Wegmans.
Continuing TYKEs’ 16th season is The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley from February 29 to March 8. The season culminates with The Emperor’s New Clothes April 13 to 18, a special program featuring 60 local children.
TYKEs consistently ranks as the #1 Children’s Theatre Company in Rochester by KidsOutandAbout.com, and one of the top places in all of Rochester to bring kids – for the ninth consecutive year. TYKEs also received the Family Favorite award for Best Children’s Theatre Performances by Rochester & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine (now ROC Parent).
For a complete listing of show dates and times, visit TykesTheatre.org.