Knoxville Children’s Theatre: Mulan
Disney’s Mulan was recently shown at the Knoxville Children’s Theatre. Mulan is the story of a young Chinese girl, Fa Mulan, who is coming of age at a time when the Han Dynasty of China is in great peril. The Huns are invading Han China. Due to this invasion, each Chinese family is ordered to send a male to fight in the army. In the Fa family, there is only one male, Zhou, Mulan’s aging father and this is where the story begins. To prevent her father from having to join the troops, Mulan disguises herself as a male and joins the army in her father’s place. Making this choice could have drastic affects – the cost of impersonating a man is death. The Fa ancestors, in hopes of bringing Mulan home, send Mushu, a dragon who is a fallen guardian, after the rebelling Mulan. Mushu, however, has plan of his own. He wants to prove himself to the ancestors and become a guardian once more. Instead of forcing Mulan home, he helps her to fit in. As with every Disney story there is a happy ending.
The final show of Mulan was on October 5 at 5pm. It was a full house with standing room only. It was obvious that the audience was mostly parents and other assorted family members. I found that their excitement was catching and also a bit of an irritant as they clapped after every scene. I am more familiar with an experienced crowd that claps only at the end of a production. But we are dealing with an all child cast, so I somewhat understand the exuberance. The set was nice without being overly complicated. I was somewhat disappointed in the costumes because they made me feel that I was at a school performance, rather than a professional show. The sound and lighting at times were not in rhythm with the actors as they entered and exited stage. This caused a delay in scenes at times, as they let the music finish before diming the lights for a scene change. This left the stage empty with full lights at times.
Being an avid theatre attendee, I...
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