REVIEW: Potato Needs a Bath (New Victory NY,NY) through 4/24

Potato Needs a Bath

Potato Needs a Bath by Shonna Reppe (April 8-24 at the New Victory Theater)

On Saturday my son and I went to take in a puppet show at the New Victory’s New 42nd St. Studios.  The show was called Potato Needs A Bath, and it was devised by Scottish storyteller and puppeteer Shonna Reppe, who last appeared at the New Victory in 2009 with her version of Cinderella.  I wrote a preview article about it on my dad blog,, and you can read that article here.

[FULL DISCLOSURE: We were given free tickets in hopes that I would write about it. As I really try to only write about things I like, I have no problems with that. I promise you, the free tickets did not color my opinion of the show.]

I call this a puppet show, because Shonna Reppe bills herself as a puppeteer, but one could well call it a clown show.  A slightly eccentric and dotty woman throws a birthday party for a potato, and invites all sorts of other vegetables and fruits.  Some of the other characters includ the twin cherries, who double as earrings; Madame Aubergina, who is quite haughty and wears all sorts of jewels, the pear family, Mr., Mrs. and their son William, a plum that goes potty, as well as a host of  others.  The star of the show, Potato, loves mud, and in fact manages to get it nearly everywhere he goes. Before his party, he needs to get his first ever bath, which Shonna (playing a character called Rudie Bayga) gives him, much to his dismay.

The premise is rich, and Shonna really follows through on everything.  . The stage and set design is simple, yet evocative, with some innovative uses for various kitchen appliances and some nice sleight of hand magic.  The puppets are very well done, and handily placed magnets make everything stick exactly where they should.   Pre-show involves creating a special party hat in the lobby , as well of perusing the Veggie and Fruit Hall of Fame  (Meet the Beetles, with Mango Starr and John Lemon.)

In a word, the show is delightful, and as I predicted in my preview, both I and my son were entranced by the work. You should definitely see this show if you can, even if you don’t have a 2 year old.

Find out more about Shonna Reppe’s work.
The show runs through April 24, and tickets are available at the New Victory Theater website.


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