Anatole: Mouse Magnifique at Imagination Stage
When I first told my daughter that we were going to see a play at Imagination Stage she said, “Oh, I love to see plays at Imagination Stage. The only thing I don’t like is when they end.”
Anatole: Mouse Magnifique is based on a series of children’s books following the adventures of a smart, ethical mouse living in Paris. Imagination Stage’s version follows Anatole through two separate, but related stories.
In the first part, Anatole is happily living with his family, supporting them by stealing cheese from humans. Everything is fine until he learns, to his surprise, that humans do not like it when mice steal their cheese. Anatole decides he must stop taking cheese and decides to figure out an honest way to provide substance for his wife and children. After much hard thinking, Anatole hits on the one thing of value he has to offer humans in exchange for cheese: His extraordinary palate. Anatole finds a way to pass along his suggestions for improving cheese to a struggling cheese factory owner. While keeping his mouse identity a second, Anatole rises up to Vice President of the Duval Cheese Company and gain access to as much cheese as he wants as often as he wants it.
All is going well, until we reach the second half of the play in which the factory owner’s cat decides to stay in the factory overnight. Unable to work under these conditions, and unable to tell the factory owner that he is a mouse (subject to mortal danger when a cat is present) Anatole enlists the help of his best friend and a team of spunky mice in an elite strike force to place a bell around the cat’s neck so Anatole knows to run away when the cat is near. Through lots of planning, daring, and risk-taking by the entire team, Anatole prevails and can continue his cheese-tasting without fear of being eaten.
Anatole: Mouse Magnifique is filled with Broadway-quality performances, songs and dance. Throughout the play, both children and adults were laughing out loud. The singing and acting are spectacular. The scenery is exceptionally well done and beautiful. Children take away lessons of thinking creatively, being honest, acting bravely, working hard, and being loyal to friends.
My eight-year-old daughter’s verdict is that Anatole: Mouse Magnifique is “Pretty cheesy – but in a good way.” I agree!
Good to know
- Recommended for ages 4+, although at the performance I saw younger children enjoyed the show as well.
- Runs through March 24th.
- There is a sensory-friendly performance on performance on Mach 10th at 11:00 am and there is an ASL-interpreted performance at 4:00 pm.
- Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here.
- Runs about 60 minutes
- Parking is available at meters on the street or at the parking garage on the same block. Garage parking is free on weekends.
- After the show extend your day by eating at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants within walking distance.