That's what they say of Emily Book, heroine of The Sparrow now playing at the Adrienne Arsht Center. But truly, the phrase should be applied to the creators of this piece for the have spun together a piece so imaginative, enthralling and just plain fun that goggle eyes and bated breath rule the auditorium.
The set is simply a square wooden floor with suspended video screens on three sides. As show time approaches the 13 thirteen young adults playing teenagers and older adults meet on stage and wander around in front of the audience, warming up, hugging each other and the first thought is ugh, this is messy. But then suddenly The Sparrow begins and this bare stage becomes the countryside, a town, a house, a bedroom, a school, a classroom, a science lab, basketball court, hallways, railroad tracks. And the list goes on and on and it's all done with smoke and mirrors. No, not really. It's all just brought to life by the wildly imaginative mind of Nathan Allen who conceived, co-wrote and directed The Sparrow.
Using the simplest of props, sound and video, The Sparrow draws the audience inexorably into the lives of the high schoolers who welcome Emily Book back into their lives ten years after she abruptly left town. Sound simple? It's anything but. For Emily does indeed return with her magical powers. And you'll see her use them and you'll marvel at the wonderful staging of this genuinely original play with music and movement.
The Sparrow is not all about singing pink piglets returning from the dead, school bus wrecks and cutesy-pie cheerleaders. There are tears and tragedy, regret and laughter and the cast members of The House Theatre of Chicago who perform this piece are uniform in their excellence as actors, singers and dancers.
Carolyn Defrin shines and flies as Emily Book-The Sparrow, and Shawn Pfautsch stands out as Dan Christopher, school teacher and all around good guy.
Created and performed by The House Theatre of Chicago, written by Jake Minton, Chris Mathews and Nathan Allen with choreography by Tommy Rapley and original music by Kevin O'Donnell The Sparrow is two acts of delight and wonder.
See it through May 1 at The Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 North Biscayne Blvd. Call 305.949.6722 or visit www.arshtcenter.org.