When Trevor Allen worked at Disneyland, his goal was to become the living embodiment of Peter Pan. A noble goal for a guy who wants to play the part that traditionally has been played by a girl. The lure of Disney and Never Never Land captured him as a small boy when the illusion of Peter, then played by Sandy Duncan in her long time tenure in the play, was undeniable. In WORKING FOR THE MOUSE, Allen marches out onto the stage and relives in touching detail, the life and times of a walk about character and the adventures that he had as he pursued his elusive and ultimate goal. “Here Weeee Gooooooooo!
Theatre Asylum is aptly named. A tiny black box with a Santa Monica address, but secreted away next door to The Lillian (actually on Lillian Way in Hollywood), fit the intimate tales that the actor spun non-stop for a little over an hour, using only a large black box to serve as a locker room bench. Three distinctive spots of light on the back wall immediately recognized by virtually anyone in at least the First World as the ‘trefoil’: THE Mouse! greets the audience as we file into the 35 seat venue. Allen brings to life several characters, human and otherwise, including the Sailor Suited Duck, the six foot floppy dog who was a dog, the White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter and many others who emerge full blown in his show.
The attraction of Disneyland is one that few are wishy washy about. One either loves The Park or.. may not. There are life time employees who do love the Park, or those, like Gary, the little guy who waddled his entire working life in the Donald Duck suit, who was a cynical and outspoken critic. Fact is that for years Disney opted not to have Donald and Daisy appear “on stage” strolling in the Park because the proportion of Donald’s legs to his body didn’t work out. Somewhere along the line, the proportions were configured and Donald became a regular. I could write an essay on why I love The Duck!
Each of the characters and comrades that Allen limns in his exhausting and exhilarating seventy minutes actually come to life. Gary (the Duck) and the character supervisor who leaped from behind bushes to catch the guys unawares and the bruiser whom he met when he thought he might be going for a tryst with Alice in Wonderland.. all live! They sprinkle the show with not Fairy Dust, but grace notes and seasoning that make his memoir more than just a guy standing on a stage and telling stories.
Sadly, I didn’t find out about Working For The Mouse until the last weekend of the show. However, after chatting with Trevor, it seems that he would love to put it up here in LA for a longer run. This is a show that falls outside the purview of AEA because when you do your own thing, hire the space, pay the crew and keep the cast down to one… Ta daaaaaa: You may, at least break even financially. The upside is that Mr. Allen’s show is funny and touching and (disclaimer!) because I worked in Disneyland for many summers, it touched my heart; brought back fond memories and did the work that a performance is supposed to do: It took me home. Thank you, Trevor Allen.
I hope I can alert readers to the good news if and when WORKING FOR THE MOUSE returns.
WORKING FOR THE MOUSE
By Trevor Allen
Just closed at
Santa Monica and Lillian
Watch this space for announcements of future performances in the LA area.