By Linda Daugherty.
Cast: 4m., 5w., 2 m. or w., 7 or more children. May be doubled to 4m., 4w., 1 m. or w., 6 children. There is much more to this play than Jack and a beanstalk. Of course, there's the proverbial giant, but there is also the giant's overworked, over-wrought wife, an aria-singing harp, a golden-egg-laying chicken with performance anxiety, and a blue-eyed stranger who looks surprisingly like Jack's long-lost father. Naturally, there's the village at the foot of the beanstalk and the giant's home in the sky, but there is also, 10 years earlier, a sailing ship caught in a storm off the coast of Pago Pago ("or was it Bora Bora") with its blue-eyed master pulled mysteriously from the wreckage by a giant hand. Certainly, there's Jack's distressed mother and the peddler who sells Jack the magic beans, but there is also the peddler's story of having bought the beans from a blue-eyed stranger; the Ladies Plum and Pomegranate, who provide the comic relief in Jack's village; and Jack's pals, including a rough and ready tomboy named Adelaid. Without a doubt, there's the giant's "fe, fi, fo, fum," but there is also his wife's rhyming collection of "bigness" puns. With all the familiar ingredients in the mix, plus so much more, and with fresh and witty dialogue, this play will be a rediscovered delight for actors and audiences alike. Area staging. Approximate Running Time: 65 minutes.