"The Thirteen Clocks" (Lifeline Theatre): Solid-Packed Sixty Minutes!

"The Thirteen Clocks" (Lifeline Theatre): Solid-Packed Sixty Minutes!

What time is it? 4:50... forever!  Lifeline Theatre presents THE THIRTEEN CLOCKS.  The evil duke has killed time.  There is now a curse over the kingdom.  A princess is trapped in the castle.  She’s the niece of the evil duke.  Not really, she’s the kidnapped daughter of a king.  A minstrel wants to save her and a prince wants to marry her. But don’t worry they are the same person.  Before the saving and marrying can happen, the minstrel/prince must obtain 1,000 jewels within 99 hours and reset the clocks.  But he’s not alone, he has a Golux and knows a woman who weeps gems.  Lots going on... and wait there’s still more!  THE THIRTEEN CLOCKS is a solid-packed sixty minutes!

Author James Thurber wrote “The Thirteen Clocks” as a fantasy novel in the 1950’s.  Using his signature complex wordplay, Thurber creates and Adaptor Robert Kauzlaric maintains poetic passages like "three-and-thirty days to go, and three-and-thirty days to come back here ... [and] it always takes my father three-and-thirty days to make decisions."  Reading it, It’s pretty but it’s hard to understand and I’m an adult.  For kids and adults hearing it in a play, it can be pretty and confusing.  Thurber also creates a golux, a todal and Xingu. Again, interesting concepts but not easily comprehended in a sixty minute play.  There’s a reason the “Harry Potter” movies are so popular with kids AND adults.  Even within that wizard world of slang and spells, there are children’s books that can be referenced for families before the show.

This wasn’t the typical Kid Series show for Lifeline.  Usually, there is an interactive part for kids to participate.  THE THIRTEEN CLOCKS didn’t have that aspect.  They did have puppets that resembled a few of the characters.  The puppets designed by Chelsea Warren and costumes designed by Nathan R. Rohrer were elegant showpieces.  After last season Kid Series’ vibrant doughnuts and playful neighbors, this show had mainstage allure with intricate detail.  It’s a matinee stunner!   Under the direction of Amanda Delheimer, the well-dressed ensemble embrace the stories within stories.  The talented cast is animated and energetic in their quest to entertain.

Kauzlaric does a great job of adapting a fantasy novel to stage.  The story is there. It’s just complicated for some kids. The multiple characters, lyrical dialogue and made-up words make following along an attention span issue.  Words like ‘guggle’ and ‘zatch’ confuse but so does ‘metaphor.‘  I only heard hearty kid laughter at the phrase ‘shut up’ and a belch.

THE THIRTEEN CLOCKS has been recommended for kids 5+.   Although you know your kid better than I do, I’m saying 8 maybe 9 or 10 and up.  Plus, if you haven’t read the book, at least review the wikipedia page with your kids.  Getting the character names and the general storyline down will help your kids’ enjoyment.  With a little kid prep, THE THIRTEEN CLOCKS is worth the time!

Running Time:  Sixty minutes with no intermission

At Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood

Based on the book by James Thurber with illustrations by Marc Simont

Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric

Directed by Amanda Delheimer

Saturdays at 1pm

Sundays at 11am and 1pm

Thru December 4th

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