The White Snake, written and directed by Mary Zimmerman, is running at McCarter Theatre until November 3rd. It is a love story against all odds based on a Chinese legend, and is very family friendly.
The white snake from the spirit world looks down upon Earth. She falls in love with a man and decides to descend from the clouds to win his affections. In order to be convincing, she must transform herself into human form. The green snake also alters herself to blend in, and assist the white snake with her quest. Little did they know that they would have an adversary to put a wrench in her plans.
This production is refreshing for McCarter audiences, as it keeps to the genre of traditional Chinese story telling in a pure form. As the dialog in the beginning progresses, the stage builds into a visually stunning set, which enhances the love story. The snakes are Chinese rod puppets, which really add to the work’s authenticity. Silken sheets, Chinese lanterns, and bamboo walls add wonderful textures to the stage, and the ever-changing screen against the back wall is great at setting the mood. Together with the beautiful costumes and traditional music, audiences will be culturally immersed in this mesmerizing performance.
The cast was superb. They allowed our imaginations to soar by using the slightest gestures to symbolize larger actions, i.e. they way they made us believe they boarded a boat that was not physically there, and be paddled down the river. This is also a testament to the amazing direction of Zimmerman.
While this is a perfect production for children, adults alike will be captured by the story telling, music, and visual effects. This is a must see for those of all ages!
Running time is 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $20 – $76 and can be purchased online or by calling 609-258-2787.