Arts Eclectic: The Red Balloon
Tongue and Groove Theatre’s The Red Balloon isn’t exactly based on the 1956 French film of the same name. Rather, as director David Yeakle says, it’s “inspired by my memory” of it. So the basic idea and much of the feeling of the piece is indebted to the film, but most of the plot and details are original to this production.
First staged in 2008 (when it won a number of awards), The Red Balloon is being revisited and expanded by Tongue and Groove Theatre. This time out, they’re at the Long Center, and to fill the space, they’ve got a bigger cast, a bigger band, and more special effects than in the past. In addition to the dancing and puppets and mime, there’s “live animation” and an eight or nine piece (depending on the night) band.
That band is conducted by composer Justin Sherburn, of Okkervil River fame. For him, composing the score of The Red Balloon was an opportunity to bring all his influences together to create a piece of music that he calls his “personal musical history.”
The soundtrack to the play has also just been released on CD; it’s available now at Waterloo Records and it’ll also be on sale at the Long Center during the run of the show.
The Red Balloon
Where: The Rollins Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.
When: The Red Balloon opens open Thursday, May 20 at 8 p.m. with subsequent performances Friday – Sunday, May 21-23, 8 p.m., Wednesday – Sunday, May 26 – 30, 8 p.m., and 3 p.m. matinee performances on Saturday, May 22, Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30.