Creatures Great and Small

Our Most Versatile Show!

 There’s an acrobatic flea, a giant stegosaurus and practically everything in between in Rainbow Puppet Production’s latest musical, "Creatures Great and Small.


"Grandpa, a fixture in Rainbow shows starting with their first program, "Jack and the Beanstalk" in 1977 leads audience members on a musical review of animal songs and stories. During the course of the program, you’ll meet all sorts of marine life including singing fish, a Blue Crab and a Fiddler Crab.Farley the Fiddler Crab will lead the audience in a blue-grass styled hoe-down, Bert the Blue Heron will perform a high-stepping big band number.   Other highlights include Mother Goose stories like "The Three Little Pig Opera" and a pair of singing dinosaurs.


The program is a musical review of animal songs written by David Messick, an award winning author who has created many touring children’s musicals including the long running "Amazing Adventures of Chessie the Manatee" Pirate Puppets in "A Pirate Party" and "Noah’s Floating Zoo."


All Ages - All Sizes

This show has been adapted to perform for all ages including pre-schoolers and folks in retirement communities.  We've presented it in one-room libraries, at outdoor festivals, and on the stage of a Grand Opera House!

Toyland!

Victor Herbert's Classic

Stage and screen legend Mickey Rooney lends his vocal performance to Rainbow Puppet Production’s latest musical "Toyland!" This 100th anniversary production of Victor Herbert’s classic musical tale features a bumbling pirate, a parade of toy soldiers, and a giant spider guarding a spooky forest.


This latest version of Toyland takes all of the musical and dramatic highlights of the story and blends them into a fast-paced puppet spectacular. Bo Peep has lost her sheep -- could her evil Uncle Barnaby be the cause? We’ll have to follow her through the spider forest and on to Toyland where she seeks the help of the kind Master Toymaker.

A Dream Cast!

 "It’s like a dream come true to work with Mickey Rooney. He provided all the magic and excitement you’d expect from an MGM star! He’s earned two Academy Awards, took Broadway by storm in ‘Sugar Babies,’ and won an Emmy along the way."Mickey is joined by his wife, Jan Chamberlain Rooney, who provides the voice of Mother Goose.  She also worked as an artist at Hanna-Barbera animation studios.


Other cast members include Kara Dennison as Bo Peep. She has provided voice work on many commercials and animated programs. The voice of Miss Muffett is Tiffany Haas who just completed a PBS musical special with Denyce Graves.  Tiffany joined the Broadway cast of "Wicked" in 2005. Red Riding Hood is Cindy Kays of the award-winning musical team C-Shells.

A History of Toyland Productions

Babes in Toyland" is one of the most beloved operettas of all time. Since opening in Chicago and then Broadway over 100 years ago, it has been made into a delightful film starring Laurel and Hardy. 


In the 1960’s, Walt Disney filmed the musical with a cast featuring Ray Bolger and Annette Funnicello. Victor Herbert’s beloved melodies to "The March of the Toys," "I Can’t Do the Sum," and "Toyland" are a memorable part of the American Songbook and they are all included in this brand new adaptation.


This is far from Messick’s first production of Toyland. "In the 70’s, I was cast as the giant spider in a production of Toyland," says Messick. "A year later I was made choreographer of another production. A few years after that I was directing a cast of 100 people in the largest touring production ever staged in Virginia.""I last directed the show on its 80th anniversary. I promised myself I’d present another on its 100th anniversary. It’s scary how fast time flies!"

Peter and the Wolf (All about Wolves!)

A Musical Classic

For generations "Peter and the Wolf" has been used to introduce children of all ages to the classical orchestra.  Add the Rainbow Puppets and you're guaranteed a fun experience.  Peter lives in a small meadow surrounded by a dark forest.  He enjoys the day observing his friend the song bird, his sneaky cat, and the duck who swims in the nearby pond.  Grandfather warns Peter to beware of the Wolf who roams in the woods... but Peter has no fear of wolves... until one day....

Put your mind at ease...  In Rainbow Puppet's version, Peter and all his friends, including the duck and the wolf survive the day's adventure.

Legendary conductor, narrator, and score

This production features vintage narration by Hollywood's legendary Sherlock Holmes... Basil Rathbone.  Prokofiev's score is conducted by Leopold Stokowski... the conductor for Walt Disney's "Fantasia."  

Many options!

We can present this production as a short, stand-alone telling of the story.  Or we can create a Wolf Extravaganza by adding "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs."


Make it a deluxe event by combining our puppets with your orchestra, wind ensemble and a local celebrity narrator.

Pirate Party

There's gonna be a pirate party!

 Movie legend Mickey Rooney and his wife Jan have just added their voices to our pirate extravaganza “A Pirate Party.” The show premiered at the 2007 Blackbeard Pirate Festival and was just re-staged for "Pirates Pack the Park," one of the largest gatherings of pirates the world has ever seen.  


As a very special surprise treat, Broadway legend Carol Channing crashes the party by providing the voice to a bejeweled Octopus!  Along the way, she plugs her own upcoming Rainbow show "The Broadway Adventures of Chessie the Manatee."

“Mickey plays Captain Mick and joyously pokes fun at his image as a multi-award winning legend.  His wife Jan plays Polly the Parrott who even more joyously eggs Mickey on.  Mickey and Jan own two parrots and Jan told a wonderful story of how Mickey will be downstairs while she’s upstairs.  Mickey calls, ‘Hey, Jan!” and the parrot replies, ‘What do you want?’  Jan, of course, never hearing Mickey and Mickey trying to carry on a conversation with the parrot!” 

The show is a happy salute to beach movies of the 1960’s.  There are villains (this time pirates), surfer boys, a beautiful mermaid, a talking octopus, and a legendary movie star.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense but it will be a lot of fun with the audience joining in on a pirate shout-out contest and a big dance at the finale.

Additional voices are provided by longtime Dr. Madblood cast member Craig T. Adams, anime vocal artist Kara Dennison and Rainbow vocal artists Tim Tharrington and Steve Scheffler.  Scheffler also served as audio producer for the show.

A Costume Party!

The Whole Gang is Back

There’s gonna be a costume party and the entire gang is invited. Following in the tradition of Pirate Party, Gonzorgo, Bub, Grumio, and company are off to Grandma’s house for a big party. 


Along the way, they meet a singing crocodile, Blackbeard the Pirate, and Humpty finds himself starring in a creepy classic with monster legend Bela Lugosi! The show ends with a dance party with a giant Octopus voiced by Tony Award winner Carol Channing!    

Perfect for "Trunk or Treat" and Fall Festivals

This program is perfect for your "Trunk or Treat" event or Fall Festivals.  We have taken care to make sure this can work for your church event as well!

The Night Before Christmas

It all begins the day before Christmas!

One of the world’s most beloved children’s poems teams up with one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars as legendary entertainer Mickey Rooney narrates “The Night Before Christmas” for Rainbow Puppet Productions.    

“T’was the Night Before Christmas” was written in 1822 by author Clement C. Moore. Since that time, it has become a favorite around the world. And who better to tell the story than Mickey Rooney?

Mr. Rooney has excelled in practically every entertainment medium he’s performed. He was born into a vaudeville family and practically grew up on stage. In the 1920’s he starred in silent movies. By the 1940’s he was the most popular star in Hollywood, appearing in movies with such luminaries as Judy Garland, Spencer Tracey, and James Cagney. When television arrived, Mickey provided voices to such holiday classics as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “The Year Without Santa Claus.”   Mr. Rooney began his association with Rainbow Puppet Productions in 2003 when he headlined the 100th anniversary production of “Babes in Toyland.” Since that time, he has also starred in Rainbow’s productions of “Pirate Party" and “The Tortoise and the Hare.”

This production features an original score by Rainbow Puppet Productions founder David Messick. The award-winning playwright has created programs for the Smithsonian Institute, the Virginia Aquarium, and in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.     “I’m so happy to be able to combine so many of my favorite Christmas memories into this program,” says Messick. “There are gingerbread cookies… a reminder of my great-grandmother’s secret recipe. There is a bell choir sequence where the bells come to life… a reminder of Christmas-eve services. We’ve included music from the Nutcracker, one of the very first shows I lit as a teen-ager. And then you add Mickey Rooney to the mix. He’s the star of so many of the Christmas television specials I watched as a child. He even does a dance sequence with a snow man who comes to life. Remember that from ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?’”    

Rounding out the vocal talent for the program are many Rainbow Productions veterans including Chris Barlett, James Cooper, Kara Dennison, Steve Scheffler, and Michael Singleton.    Puppets are hand-crafted by master puppet maker Jill Harrington. Settings were created by Helen Spaetzel. Musical arrangements are by Steve Scheffler. 

Make us a part of your Christmas celebration

"The Night Before Christmas" was originally created for the Virginia Children's Museum.  Since opening, it has been performed at schools, libraries, churches and town hall "Grand Illuminations."

This program can be presented in 20 minute sets throughout the day or as a longer, 45 minute presentation including Mother Goose and the whole gang!  At churches, we can add a re-telling of the Nativity Story complete with camels, angels, and more!

Mother Goose Celebrations

It's a great big celebration!

Mother Goose and all her friends have special programs for any time of year.  Whether it's a holiday, a special event, or time for fun... Mother Goose has a show for you.

So many options!

  • Mother Goose Schoolhouse... where the whole gang gets together to learn about creatures from around the world.
  • Mother Goose Travelling Rock and Roll Show...  it's a dance party with Red Riding Hood, Bo Peep, and all the gang!
  • A Mother Goose Christmas...  Grandpa lost the tree so Humpty dresses up as a great big Christmas egg.    There's a sing-along and lots of audience participation.
  • A Mother Goose Easter...  Humpty's decorated up as the biggest Easter Egg of all time.  Plus we hear Mickey Rooney narrate "The Tortoise and the Hare."
  • A Birthday Celebration....  What could be more fun than having the whole Mother Goose gang celebrate a birthday.  And everyone helps make the cake!
  • A New Year's Celebration....  You guessed it, the Mother Goose Gang helps ring in the New Year.