- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 9, 2000

Children of all ages can enjoy "The Great Quillow," playing at the Kennedy Center's Theater Lab.

Adapted from James Thurber's story of the same name, "The Great Quillow" tells the story of Hometown, a village of 100 men, 100 women and 100 children.

Townspeople include the Candymaker (Aakhu TuahNera Freeman), the Grocer (Paula Gruskiewicz), the Town Clerk (Jonathan Tindle), the Baker (Frederick Strother), the Baker's Apprentice (Makela Spielman) and Quillow, the toy maker, played by Steven Cupo.

Quillow is a quiet, clever man who delights in building or fixing things. He always appears in the background in the town's opening scenes.

The Grocer, Candymaker, Baker and Town Clerk all serve on the Town Council. After finishing town business, such as commending the carpenter for new street signs, they like to speculate on things such as the number of stars in the sky or the blueness of violets.

Quillow is not a member of the Town Council; he just attends all the meetings. The Apprentice will sneak in to eavesdrop.

Things are peaceful until Hundar the Giant "shrurumphs" into town.

Hundar is so large he can stamp the ground with his foot and cows will flip over — twice — and land on their feet. As he walks, the ground shakes.

What's worse, Hundar decides he wants to live in the town and sends a list of demands to the Town Council.

Along with a new house, a jerkin and high-top sneakers, Hundar wants 100 pizzas, a chocolate bar as big as a Ferris wheel and a pie baked with 1,000 apples delivered to him — every day.

Clearly the townsfolk cannot live up to these demands forever, and they talk about how to get rid of the giant.

It is Quillow who comes up with a plan.

About one hour long, the play is a good length for children. The production contains an abundance of physical comedy, such as the townspeople bouncing up and down with Hundar's every step, which is sure to make children laugh.

Hundar is the character youngsters probably love most. The giant, complete with cowboy hat and bandanna, is a 15-foot-tall puppet that looms over the entire town. Voiced by Doug Brown, Hundar's speech is amplified and booms over the small theater.

This tale of how a small man outwits a mighty giant, a work commissioned by the Kennedy Center, is fun for children and adults alike.

WHAT: "The Great Quillow"WHERE: Kennedy Center Theater Lab, F Street and New Hampshire Avenue NWWHEN: 7 p.m. Friday and Dec. 22; 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. today, Dec. 16 and 23; and 1 p.m. tomorrow and Dec. 17TICKETS: $12PHONE: 202/467-4600 or 800/444-1324

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