The children’s musical “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical,” based on the Caldecott Honor-winning Mo Willems children’s book hits stage 6 p.m. tonight at Schwab Auditorium.
The FUSE Productions performance features original puppets and puppetry by Adam Swartz and stars Eliza Marcovitch as Trixie, Leah Mueller as Mom and Mike Waldhier as Dad.
General admission tickets are $8 and can be purchased at www.fuseproductions.thundertix.com.
The musical was commissioned by the Kennedy Center and performed in 2011-12 as part of its Theatre for Young Audiences on Tour program. It features book and lyrics by six-time Emmy Award winner Willems and music by Grammy winner Michael Silversher.
In the show, Trixie, her father and her favorite stuffed bunny set off on a trip to the laundromat. The trip brings wonder, excitement and joy to the lively toddler until she realizes that she has left Knuffle Bunny back at the laundromat. Trixie does everything in her power to make her father understand the emergency, but her father fails to see the issue at hand.
In a recent rehearsal, cast members blocked a dream ballet sequence involving Trixie and a life-size bunny puppet. An ominous row of washing machines loomed in the background. “My favorite moment,” said Mueller, “is when we see Knuffle Bunny stuck against the washing machine glass.”
Swartz, who has created several large and small puppets and comic props for the show, noted that Pigeon, a popular Mo Willems character, also will be making an appearance in the musical. Swartz will be assisted by puppeteers Lex Pupo, Kate Leous and Anna Marcovitch.
The production is directed by Richard Biever. Costumes are by Julie Snyder and the set is by Will Snyder. Tyler Sperrazza does lighting design and Michael Blake does sound design.
Based in State College, FUSE is presenting all of its 2017-18 Mainstage Season shows in Schwab Auditorium. The fully staged performances feature live musical accompaniment and casts that include a mix of local and professional actors and Penn State students, faculty and alumni.