Before going to see Jumanji at Adventure Theatre, I got a little inside info from my contact there that “the show is probably the funniest we have ever had in my 6 years here.” Now, that’s a rather lofty statement to make about a production. Combine that with press materials describing a “4-D jungle experience for its patrons,” and my expectations for great, rollicking entertainment were pretty high.
Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji tells the story of Judy and Peter, a sister and brother who find a mysterious old board game while their parents are out. They decide to play it, then adventure — and some wild magic — ensue, transforming their living room into a world beyond their imaginations and sending them on a incredible journey to claim Jumanji. (Many parents, and maybe even some of your kids, have seen the 90’s movie version starring Robin Williams.)
The jungle, a monsoon, an erupting volcano, monkeys, lions, and a giant snake are all part of the show, a feat that might seem impossible to pull off on the cozy Adventure Theatre stage. But the creative execution, featuring a superb cast, brilliant puppetry, and fun elements that surprise and engage the audience bring the story to life with excitement and humor for both children and adults.
Ryan Dalusung and Billie Krishawn are fantastic as Peter and Judy, nailing the brother/sister dynamic with typical sibling quibbles and silly jabs at each other. (Sasha actually whispered to me at one point, “That’s like me and Owen!”) But the character who had me actually LOL-ing was The Guide. Played by Elan Zafir, he’s like an awkward Indiana Jones meets J. Peterman from Seinfeld — in the most hilarious way possible.
Expectations, met! And I’m pretty certain yours and your kids’ will be, too.
Jumanji is running at Adventure Theatre through August 28, with performances on most Saturdays and Sundays at 11am, 2pm, and 4pm, and on Mondays at 10:30am. Tickets are $19.50, and you can get 15% off until for any date if you purchase by July 15, just use the code KFDC at checkout. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Giveaway: For a chance to win a Famly 4-Pack of tickets to see Jumanji at Adventure Theatre, simply leave let me know the date you’d like to see the show in the comments. To be eligible you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and subscribe to the KFDC blog (see sign-up near the top left). This giveaway will run through Sunday, July 3, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!
* Congrats to KFDC reader Kristi C., winner of the giveaway!