MICE AT CENTRE ICE by Kerri Salata (Benny the Bullet Productions/Fringe). At the George Ignatieff. July 5 at 3:30 pm, July 7 at 10:30 am, July 9 at 12:45 pm, July 10 at 12:45 pm. July 12 at 11 am, July 13 at 5:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN
Lawyers sometimes get a bum rap, but this energetic cast comprised mostly of “lactors” (lawyers who like to act) puts on a sweet kids’ show, even if some of them do sound like extras from a James Cagney film.
Playwright/performer Kerri Salata has adapted her grandmother Estelle’s children’s book for the stage. The plot is straightforward and unabashedly Canadian: the Mouse Hockey League goes on a mission at The Forum to reclaim their long-lost Cheddar Cup, taken years ago by their rivals the Rink Rats.
There’s lots of action to keep kids engaged – some actors run through the aisle, and there’s the big hockey battle near the end. Imaginative props and costumes include a Zamboni and a garbage truck complete with sound effects, and a hockey stick with a big ball of yarn as a puck.
Although the production deserves two minutes in the penalty box for some dated humour, it earns extra points for a script with lots of pleasing kid-friendly alliteration like Benny The Bullet and Big Boris.
Plus, proceeds from the run support the charity Toronto Lawyers Feed The Hungry.