REVIEW: "The Old Man and the Old Moon" at The Old Globe

PigPen Theatre Brings Laughter and Melodies to The Old Globe

"The Old Man and the Old Moon" at The Old Globe

Photos by Jim Cox

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How did the moon get its light? And why does it wax and wane in the night sky? These questions and more are answered in PigPen Theatre Company's latest production, The Old Man and the Old Moon, which is currently playing at The Old Globe theatre in Balboa Park. With warmth, humor, and versatility, this original production and West Coast premiere is a fun, family-friendly show.

The original story, written by PigPen Theatre Company itself, follows the Old Man (Ryan Melia), who spends his days refilling the moon with liquid light. One day, his wife (Alex Falberg)––wistful and yearning to explore the world––leaves for a 'round the world journey without warning, and all the Old Man can do is chase after her, hoping to find her once more. With slight humor and desperate deceit, the Old Man encounters a wide range of characters, including a story-loving first mate (Matt Nuernberger), a fish-catching dog (Dan Weschler), and a band of joyful sailors (Ben Ferguson, Curtis Gillen, and Arya Shahi). Co-directed by Stuart Carden, The Old Man and the Old Moon is a humorous look at a new folktale.

PigPen's polish and versatility is on full display here, as the company's seven actors all portray multiple characters throughout the production, each with different accents and mannerisms. With an intelligent script that brings minute details and anecdotes full circle, The Old Man and the Old Moon has the makings of a classic production.

PigPen Theatre Company

This PigPen show isn't just a new folktale for families to pass down, however––it's also filled with a variety of original music. Songs range from folky with a Celtic lilt to mild rock to wistful ballads. Each member of PigPen Theatre Company plays an instrument––in fact, many of the members play more than one––to create catchy tunes with beautiful harmonies throughout.

PigPen Theatre Company originated at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007, and they have been creating masterful original productions together ever since. PigPen has been a critic's pick for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune. The company has released two albums (Bremen and Whole Sun). Performing with a rambunctious glee, watching a PigPen production is akin to watching well-rehearsed children play in a puppet-laden sandbox.