Sunday, March 01, 2015

Theater :: Timmy Failure

Metro Parent-PDX Kids Calendar review of OCT's Timmy Failure. March 2015Timmy Failure is a complete success!

Timmy Failure and his distinctive scarf come alive in this hysterical debut production. Timmy isn’t the kind of kid you typically cheer for. He’s oblivious, snarky, and more than a little self-centered. But he and Total, his polar bear partner, want to do the right thing. They’re just much better at getting into trouble than out of it.

The stage is set like a page out of Stephan Pastis’ popular Timmy Failure series. The pen and ink drawings and minimal props allow the vibrant personalities of the characters to truly shine. Many of the actors have multiple roles, changing hair, costumes, and voices in a flash. The Total Failure Detective Agency notebook kept up with the cases our detectives took on, the larger-than-life screen changed every time Timmy opened it to make notes. His goofy drawings always got a laugh.

From the moment Pat Moran takes the stage as Timmy Failure, the audience is on a journey with him. You never take your eyes off him, except when Total takes the stage as a hip-hop dancing ballerina. With too many laugh out loud moments to count, the show speeds along until Timmy’s life and lies come crashing down. Quite literally.

Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made operates on multiple levels. On the surface, it’s a hilarious take on how an eight-year-old views life. They are the center, so everything going on must relate to them in some way. But the parents and mature kids in the audience will feel the weight of the things happening around Timmy that he can’t control – family economic crises, his mother’s slick new boyfriend, dealing with a new teacher, relating to other kids, losing your best friend. The world is imperfect, but Timmy is undaunted is his quest to set things right for his mother, and for himself.

The live telling of Stephan Pastis’ popular Timmy Failure series was developed as part of Oregon Children’s Theatre’s New Play Initiative. To bring contemporary voices to the stage for children, the initiative’s goal is to produce a new play each year. This season they produced two and will do the same next season.

This show is fun for any age. For families where the children’s ages vary, this would be a great option. It has jokes that appeal to kids and one-liners to make even the surliest of teenagers crack a smile. Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid would love Timmy Failure – the play and the books.