Audiences will be swept off to fantastical faraway places this spring when “1001 Nights: A Love Story About Loving Stories” hits the stage at the Center for Puppetry Arts for a limited two week engagement, March 25-April 6. Broadway musical powerhouse Robert Lopez, innovative New York company The Flying Carpet and puppetry experts Center for Puppetry Arts, join forces as a “dream team” to create the ultimate “family puppet musical.”
In this celebration of brainy imagination over brawn, a princess uses her wits to save a kingdom from an evil decree as she spins tale after tale for a narrow-minded king. Featuring genies, jesters, 40 thieves and other captivating characters, the princess’s cliffhanger stories keep the king—and audiences—on the edge of their seats. This playful adaptation of the “Arabian Nights” fairy tales is recommended for ages six and up.
“1001 Nights” was first conceived in 1998 by Tony winner and Academy Award nominee Robert Lopez (“Avenue Q,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Frozen”) and Adam Koplan, artistic director of Flying Carpet Theatre Company. This newly reimagined production features early songs by Lopez and is co-directed by Koplan and Jon Ludwig, artistic director of the Center for Puppetry Arts. All the puppets were designed by the Center’s resident puppet builder Jason von Hinezmeyer and built by the talented crew in the Center’s puppet building shop. “1001 Nights” is an inspired combination of Lopez’s catchy tunes, Flying Carpet’s inventive staging and the Center’s internationally recognized puppetry expertise.
New York based Flying Carpet credits Atlanta as their “second home.” Creative Loafing named the company’s “The Mystery of Chung Ling Soo” Best Touring Show of 2005 and deemed their 2009 “The Medicine Showdown,” one of the top shows of the decade. Under Koplan’s leadership, Flying Carpet has premiered multiple productions and toured the U.S. and Europe. Koplan, an Atlanta native, was first exposed to the “Arabian Nights” tales through a production of “Aladdin and His Magical Lamp” at the Center in the early 1980’s while a student at the Hebrew Academy.
Lopez’s works “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon” have both been critical and commercial smash hits, as well as Best Musical Tony Award winners. Crediting “1001 Nights” as the show where he found his “voice” as a composer/lyricist, Lopez also co-wrote songs for the 2011 film “Winnie the Pooh” and co-created eight original songs for Disney’s latest film “Frozen,” including “Let It Go” for which he received a Critic’s Choice award as well as Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.
Ludwig has directed more than 30 original productions for families and adults and created Emmy-nominated work for television. His productions have garnered a record nine UNIMA Citations of Excellence. Von Hinezmeyer’s work has been featured in dozens of Center productions over the last 11 years. Von Hinezmeyer has also designed puppets for Actors Theater of Louisville (Ky.), Dragonfruit Studios and Cartoon Network.
“1001 Nights” will run for two weeks only from March 25 – April 6, 2014 in the Downstairs Theater. Show times are as follows:
- Tuesday-Thursday: 10 a.m. & 12 p.m.
- Friday: 10 a.m. & 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 2 p.m. & 5 p.m.
Tickets include museum admission as well as the Create-A-Puppet Workshop, where children can make their own Fantastical Friend hand puppet. TICKETS ARE $9.25 (MEMBERS) / $16.50 (NONMEMBERS) AND CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AT WWW.PUPPET.ORG OR BY CALLING THE TICKET SALES OFFICE AT 404-873-3391.