July/August, 1998. p.18. By R. Pitman.
The story of one of the most famous bad boys in all of children's literature comes to colorful life in this live theatre adaptation of Carlo Collodi's classic tale set in Renaissance Italy and presented in the commedia dell'arte style. Created by the craftsman Gepetto, the newly fashioned boy Pinocchio is-- like Sharon Stone's acting-- all wood. Sent by his maker/father to school to gain an education and thereby rise in the world through the fruits of his knowledge, the easily impressionable Pinocchio is waylaid by thieves, cajoled by delinquents, and ultimately, whisked off to Toy Town, where he learns that all play and no work makes Pinocchio a donkey. As anyone who has watched the Disney animated version umpty-ump times knows, all's well that ends well, and Pinocchio ends well, indeed, with valuable lessons learned about the importance of education, honesty, and, above all, love. Excellent acting, solid songs, vibrant costuming and smart camerawork make this version of the beloved story of a boy, his good hearted father, a sage cricket and a benevolent blue fairy (as well as sundry lowlifes) a genuine winner. And, while the program stands alone quite nicely, the onscreen introduction by Professor Elizabeth McNamer concerning the historical and thematic elements (also covered in the accompanying study guide) are a real bonus for understanding the social and political milieu in which Collodi penned his tale. Highly recommended. Aud: E, I, P.