Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Arts Commission, and the York County Arts Commission, Rainbow Puppets has brought back an all-new production of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK.
The program is narrated by movie legend Mickey Rooney. This is one of nine projects the late, great actor recorded exclusively for the Rainbow Puppets.
Set in Depression Era America, Jack and his family have fallen on hard times. With encouragement from Presidential Candidate F.D.R., Jack finds his fortune in the most unlikely of places... at the top of an enchanted beanstalk.
This is our staff's favorite story show that we perform... and we think you'll agree! Our first puppet show in 1977 was a production of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, so now we are going full circle sharing our love of puppetry with a new generation of puppet makers.
We worked with students from Kecoughtan High School in Hampton to create sets as part of a business / education process sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
Rainbow Puppets presents a musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum's THE MARVELOUS LAND OF OZ. The Wizard is gone. The Scarecrow is left in charge, but Mombi has plans to take over the Land of Oz. Who can protect them for her evil plans?
Decades of planning and recording have finally come together in this production... featuring an historic vocal cast of Oz favorites.
Mickey and Jan Rooney are the Army of Oz and Glinda the Good. They are joined here by show creator David Messick and master puppeteer Craig T. Adams, who provides the voice for Jack Pumpkinhead.
Mickey gave Judy Garland her Oscar for portraying Dorothy in MGM's WIZARD OF OZ. Later, he appeared with Judy's daughter, Liza Minnelli as the Scarecrow in JOURNEY BACK TO OZ. He then appeared in New York and around the country in Madison Square Garden's WIZARD OF OZ. It was during that tour that he first met David and learned of the Rainbow Puppets. That led to him providing voices for seven productions with us.
Geoffrey Holder, the two-time Tony winner for directing and designing THE WIZ provides the voice for the High Magnified, Thoroughly Educated Wogglebug!
Meinhardt Raabe, the coroner munchkin introduces the new story. Meinhardt is featured in our new book, NEVER GIVE UP!
Tiffany Haas, Glinda the Good in Broadway's WICKED is also on hand. Before her Broadway career, Tiffany made personal appearances with Rainbow Puppets, portraying Dorothy!
Kara Dennison, long-time voice actress with Rainbow Puppets joins the fun. Seen here, backstage with Jan and Mickey Rooney at the Kimball Theater. Kara is Dorothy in the acclaimed audio anthology THE CHRONICLES OF OZ.
Laura Baldwin's Scarecrow and David Messick's Tin Man are ready for their new adventure.
Join the award-winning Rainbow Puppets as they share “Terrific Tales.” Through original music and colorful puppets, they present relevant re-tellings of some of the most recognizable tales of all times.
By not talking to strangers, Red Riding Hood makes her way safely to Grandma’s house. Hansel and Gretel are not so lucky. When their father heads off to work, they ignore his instructions and end up lost in forest. Fortunately, they are able to outsmart the woman at the candy house and are reunited with their father. Finally, Goldilocks benefits from the generosity of Three Bears.
Between tales, there are interactive songs and dancing which are a trademark of Rainbow Puppet presentations.
Between tales, there are interactive songs and dancing which are a trademark of Rainbow Puppet presentations.
The late, great movie legend Mickey Rooney provides narration for the show. Over the years, he recorded many shows with the Rainbow Puppets including “Toyland!” and “Pirate Party.” Other voices include Rainbow regulars Chris Bartlett and Granny, Deborah Carlos as Red Riding Hood, and James Cooper as the Announcer. Steve Scheffler engineered and produced the performances
Here's the Hare from "The Mother Goose Easter Celebration."
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."
This show has been adapted to perform for all ages including preschoolers 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!
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.
"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.
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!"
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.
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."
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.
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.
Here are highlights from our Pirate Party show!
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!
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!
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 Bartlett, 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.
"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 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.
Each of our Mother Goose shows fit your programming needs. We have versions for schools, churches, libraries... or any other event. Here are a few highlights.
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