3 Reasons to See The Vanishing Elephant at New Victory Theater

By 10/24/2023 05:59:00 PM

The Vanishing Elephant from Belfast’s Cahoots NI premiered at The New Victory Theater and was a visually, cultural, and semi eco-educational experience for families.

Note: I received media tickets to the show for review purposes. Views expressed are always 100% my own.

Featuring full-scale puppets that grow from tot to teen to towering adults, this jumbo journey follows Jenny the elephant as she is captured and taken from India to America, far from her family and her forever friend, Opu.

Swept up in the circus, Jenny makes magic and history as “The Vanishing Elephant” alongside Harry Houdini himself - but she never stops thinking of home.

This moving story of friendship and what it means to be ‘home’ reflects on topics of migration, displacement, new beginnings, and acceptance.

Overall here are three features families will enjoy

Exposure to East Indian Culture

From the start the audience is exposed to cultural song, dance, lifestyle and even folklore of the East Indian culture. Seeing and learning about a different culture is always beneficial during storytelling.

Exposure to History

The Vanishing Elephant is based on true events!

In 1918, Harry Houdini (who once performed at the Paradise Rooftop Garden atop the New Victory) gained fame for his “Vanishing Elephant” act, making a five-ton elephant named Jenny disappear on stage at the now-closed Hippodrome Theatre.

Exposure to Eco-Awareness

The reality of how Elephant are found in the wild and brought to places like circus and zoos are shown. While it's amazing to see Elephants doing tricks and being entertaining, there is a darker side to how Elephant got there and are sometimes encouraged to do the tricks we enjoy seeing.

While it's not overly graphic and scary for young kids, the scenes do provide a opening for families to talk with kids about how animals are removed from their habit and how this can affect so many things.

New Victory Before & After Activities

The show on stage is just one part of the visitor experience! For 45 minutes before and 20 minutes after every show, the lobby of Stage 42 features free do-together activities in which families can try new performance skills or explore the show’s themes.

Whether they are wild, wallflowers or somewhere in between, New Victory will guide children through fun family engagement inspired by the show.

The Vanishing Elephant

The Vanishing Elephant, produced by Belfast’s Cahoots NI, will kick off the New Victory Theater’s 2023-24 season with a dazzling display of life-size puppetry from October 14 through October 29 at Stage 42.

Inspired by the famous ‘vanishing elephant’ trick performed by Harry Houdini in NYC in 1918, this moving story of friendship highlights Cahoots’ distinctive theatrical style, combining the visual potential of theater with the age-old popularity of magic and illusion.

Performed by a cast of nine actors from India, Austria, UK, US and Ireland, The Vanishing Elephant reflects on topics of migration, displacement, new beginnings, and acceptance, and explores what it means to belong.

The Vanishing Elephant runs 70 minutes with no intermission and is recommended for everyone 8 and up. Content considerations for this production include depictions of animal cruelty.

Tickets start at $24 and are available at the New Victory Box Office (209 W 42nd Street) leading up to the performance as well as at the Stage 42 Box Office (422 W 42nd Street) starting two hours before curtain time on performance days.

The Vanishing Elephant is written by Charles Way and directed by Paul Bosco McEneaney, with music from Aoife Kavanagh and MD Pallavi, choreography from Jayachandran Palazhy, and animal puppetry from Helen Foan of Foan & Fortune Theatre Company.

Tickets can also be purchased via phone by calling 646.223.3010 and online.

Learn more, visit - www.NewVictory.org

You Might Also Like