Silverstein, the late children’s poet (he passed away in 1999), may be best remembered for works like “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “Falling Up,” but he started his career out on a different path.
Silverstein dabbled in drawing and explored songwriting and music. “He started out drawing cartoons for Playboy,” said Mike Aronson, the director of An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein.
Aronson said the play includes stories by the author, but very little poetry. “These plays are timeless,” he said. “Only one of the 10 scenes is poetic and the poetry is performed by two hookers in a john… so they’ve learned how to proposition men in rhyme.” It’s best to leave the kids at home if you come out to watch humorous Silverstein scenes unfold on the Majestic’s main stage.
“The stories themselves are interesting observations… Silverstein’s imagination and the characters he’s put together, they keep you thinking,” Aronson said. Audience members will be entertained with everything from a blues harmonica player who doesn’t want the world to know he has a talking dog to scenes packed with silly sexual politics.
Aronson called the humor level of the play “goofy,” adding that viewers will want to pay attention to each story so they can get “what’s going on.”
A cast of 11 local actors and actresses and a trusty crew are helping to make the production a success. After a few rehearsals, Aronson discovered he was also working with a very musical cast and was happy to incorporate several of Silverstein’s originally penned songs into the mix. “I added something to the stage that is not on the page,” he said.
For a taste of Silverstein’s songs and screenplays, with a dash of adult-appropriate poetic verse thrown in, catch performances of An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein on Sept. 11, 12, 17, and 19 at 7:30 p.m., and performances at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20. For ticket information and reservations, visit http://majestic.org/an-adult-
By Abbie Tumbleson