A Puppet Playdate With Grandma D | Pride Arts Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Ella Robinson Harris

A Puppet Playdate With Grandma D 

When: Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 28 2017
Price: Pay what you can; suggested donation $10
Is your avatar elderly and blue? Young, a thumb-sucker, and faintly violet? A sparkly fluffy quadruped in a tutu? With a minimal cast, Pride Arts Center Theatre for Young Audiences' Puppet Playdate With Grandma D presents a world of types in a single room at Grandma D's house (she’s the blue puppet). In the tradition of Nickelodeon kids' show Blue's Clues, our narrator and nonpuppet intermediary is a white male everyman mysteriously given the same name as a certain mohawked pro wrestler of color. But if he identifies as Mr. T, it's OK; as we learned in the first week’s reading, Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, and Shelagh McNicolas’s whitewashed, conflict-free picture book of transgender self-discovery I Am Jazz, the word of the day is "acceptance." Clocking in at a slim 20 minutes with a new reading each week, Puppet Playdate seems well-intentioned but also telegraphs disappointing cultural norms. —Irene Hsiao



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