Haifa celebrates children's theater

Some of the competition plays are new versions of stories we all know, like a humorous David and Goliath and a poetic take on The Golem of Prague.

The perennially popular Haifa International Children's Theater Festival will take place in and around the Haifa Theater From April 21-23 during Hol Hamoed Pessah. This year, as a special treat, two of the eight plays in competition will be free to the public. There are also four guest productions, with a total of 20 events, including eight free street theater events. Some of the competition plays are new versions of stories we all know, like a humorous David and Goliath (free), a poetic take on The Golem of Prague, the story of a genius who never really got to be a little boy, Young Mozart, and a visual theater piece, The Tree, based on Shel Silverstein's beautiful fable The Giving Tree. There's a little musical called You Bet and a salute to Hollywood in Matinee called Impossible. Across the Sea celebrates Bialik's poems with objects and puppets and The Hungry Chef (free) is a puppet play about a superchef and a hungry caterpillar. Leading the four guest productions is Hasamba, an Orna Porat Children and Youth Theater revival directed by Alon Ofir. The Igal Mossensohn play tells of a kids' secret society that enchanted youngsters join in the early years of the state and before. There's also Mr. Littlechap and the Appletree, a dance-theater piece, The Nutcracker that's been turned from a ballet to a play and Ephraim Sidon's whimsical Uzu and Muzu from Kakaruzu. Street theater has two shows each from Canada and the UK and four that are home grown. These include Principessa Queen of the Bathtub about a wannabe singer who's coming to Haifa with her private bathroom, Classic Ballet about a couple of weird dancers, and Kangaroo about twin roos startled to find themselves in Haifa. Clown Fraser Hooper (UK) comes with Funny Business and another Brit, Fred Ulysses Normal, is a one man circus in The Circus Revolution. Corpus from Canada has two shows: Flock of Flyers about pilots without planes, which won the gold medal at the Quebec Festival, and The Sheep. There will also be a big activity tent for the little ones, and more fun besides.