REVIEW: Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

The Children’s Theatre Company’s newest production, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, takes you back for a romp through childhood—through the beauty of imagination, the heartbreak of childhood bullying, and the strength of self-expression and authenticity. Based on the book by Christine Baldacchino and Isabelle Malenfant, the story follows the life of a young boy named Morris. At school, he discovers a beautiful tangerine dress which he decides to wear for all his imaginative adventures. But when Morris doesn’t follow “the rules” of how society wants him to be, he must deal with the judgement. Luckily for us, with the help of his mother character’s, (played by Joy Dolo), a wholesome, loving, and playful example of how to parent, Morris finds a way to stand up for himself and keep dreaming.

The Cargill blackbox theater was the perfect setting for the one-act play. It was cozy and intimate, like reading a book in bed to your child. The small cast was able to use the beautiful, and versatile set and costumes to bring the story to life—dreams, rockets, giraffes and all. The actors helped immerse you in the story, great acting by a young cast. Not every short children’s book is made for the stage, and not every play gets the translation right, but this one did. My nine-year-old daughter called it “interactive, wholesome and heartwarming” and said, “I wish everybody could have a chance to see it.” Morris Micklewhite is in its first week on stage, and runs through November 19, 2023. If you get a chance to see this sweet story about the gift of imagination, take it.

Bonus – I loved the program booklet! It had space to design your own outfit, kid-friendly insights into the theater world, and “questions for the ride home.” Can we have this kind of content going forward in all theater programs in the Twin Cities?!

Review by Tracy Whitney