enveloppes et deballages with Charlot Lemoine. Presented by Vélo Théâtre at the Studio Theatre (235 Queen's Quay West). May 22-23 and 25, Thursday-Friday 1 pm, Sunday 1:45 pm. 416-973-4000. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Be sure to sit close to the stage for Enveloppes Et Déballages. You'll want to savour every precise detail of this magical recreation of various miniature towns, islands and kingdoms.When one of his parcels starts smoking, a harried mailman (the gifted clown Charlot Lemoine) opens it to reveal a land that time forgot, including a volcano, a big yellow bird and a squeaking frog.
Opening subsequent packages (and not realizing, I guess, that mail fraud is illegal), he unravels a playful dinosaur, then more vistas, including a tropical island resort for the bird, a magical ocean and a circus where, presumably, the dinosaur is going to be taken King Kong-style by what appear to be human poachers.
I'm not sure what Vélo Théâtre's point is here. That a postage stamp can introduce kids to different worlds? That dinosaurs can be friendly? Apart from a scary nighttime scene where the poachers capture the dinosaur, there's little tension.
But the company creates a brilliant little universe that's strong on charm.