Will the luck of the Irish help Fin O’Grady win the hand of the one he loves?
If three leprechauns named Blather, Blarney and Balderdash have anything to say, it will.
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Vero Voce in St. Charles presents its latest children’s production, “Blather, Blarney and Balderdash,” featuring four stories inspired by folk and fairly tales from the Emerald Isle. The show opens March 15 and runs through March 23.
The play begins with a distraught Fin O’Grady, a young man in love.
“He wants to propose to a young girl, but her mother won’t let him unless he can tell a story. He thinks all is lost because he is a really bad storyteller,” said David M. Rodriguez, theatrical artistic director at Vero Voce and senior director of the show.
“He happens upon these three leprechauns, and instead of asking for gold, he asks them to teach him how to tell a story.”
The trio then tell him three different tales. In “The Hunchback of Knockgraften,” a man’s gentle nature earns him a prize. In “The Griffin’s Feather,” a farmer and a boatman must gather three griffin feathers to wake a sleeping beauty. And in “The Bird, the Mouse and the Cricket,” a girl and three animals must help a prince regain his laughter.
Each tale is directed by a student director, with Erica Johnson directing “The Ballad of Fin O’Grady,” Rachel Tork directing “The Hunchback,” Riley Brutto directing “The Griffin’s Feather” and Madeline Hotham directing “The Bird…”
Rodriguez said with each show at Vero Voce School of Performing Arts, they try to focus on a different aspect of production. For this particular play, the emphasis is on directing.
“After we would run the show, the young directors would give notes. We would both be taking notes simultaneously,” Rodriguez said. “The main thing I was looking for was seeing how many similar notes we had, to see if they were seeing the stuff they were supposed to see.”
By focusing on directing, the students are able to put in practice everything they have learned throughout the year. During rehearsals Rodriguez noticed that each student director developed their own style.
“Directors in general are different, and they all have their very specific ways,” he said. Some of them are more detailed about the blocking. Some of them are more detailed about the lines, some of them are more detailed about the acting. It was really interesting to see them all in their different ways.”
The directors and more than a dozen cast members had about a month to prepare the show. Usually they have a 6-week rehearsal schedule.
“We’re right on track. Even if we had two extra weeks, we are where we would be with a longer rehearsal schedule,” he said. “They’re all such hard workers.”
Although “Blather, Blarney and Balderdash” is a children’s production, it will appeal to both kids and adults, Rodriguez said.
“All ages will have a good time. It’s mature, it’s intelligent, it’s not cheesy,” he said. “And the kids are just really funny, as always.”