Back to the Blog

WINNIE THE POOH on The Source

cowley about about 4 years ago

Large_1595

WMNF is delighted to present The Complete Works of Winnie the Pooh, performed by Peter Dennis - starting this Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on The Source.

The late Peter Dennis was the only actor A.A. Milne's family would allow to perform the Pooh stories. Dennis traveled the world reading Winnie the Pooh, and visited St. Petersburg's American Stage some years ago. He performs every character in different voices, including the narrator. It's a charming and beautiful show.

If you're used to the Disney version, the original stories and Dennis's faithful presentation, may surprise you. And if you wonder whether it's worth tuning in as an adult, here's what a San Diego reviewer had to say. . . Are these stories "worth bothering about for anyone over six? The answer has got to be "Yes", for Milne's Pooh stories are at the very peak of children's literature, at the point where childish entertainment is transformed into high artistry and deep wisdom. ... they are gently ironic stories about childhood, narrated from a completely adult point of view."

Don't miss The Complete Works of Winnie the Pooh, Sunday mornings 9:30-10 a.m., right before two hours of folk music with Kaleidoscope.

starting Sunday, June 20

9:30-10 a.m.

on The Source

88.5 HD3 or listen online at wmnf.org/thesource

For more information about the series visit. . . poohcorner.com

Reviews. . .

The Lee Strasberg Theatre, Hollywood, Lynne Heffley, Los Angeles Times ... The show is a must for adults and older children—old enough to appreciate the spirit of reminiscence in Milne's non-saccharine, superbly crafted tales and poems. Dennis makes each character a living, breathing presence with extraordinary deftness and clarity. Milne and Dennis are a happy collaboration. Together, they make us laugh, catch the throat and touch the memory of the child within each of us.... A tour-de-force performance ...

Richard Bozanich, The Hollywood Reporter The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Hollywood ...Peter Dennis captivates his audiences as he proceeds to bring all the inhabitants of Pooh's meadow to life. What better way to introduce children to these classics than with Dennis's creations ...

Marty Clear, Weekly Planet, St. Petersburg The American Stage Theatre ... For people who were raised on Pooh stories, or who connect with Milne’s wistful humor and wry observations, this show should be magical. For people immune to the charms of Pooh, it’s still an entertaining evening, thanks largely to Dennis’ affectionate and engaging performance. With superb vocal characterizations and carefully chosen postures and movements, Dennis perfectly captures the intelligence and innocence of Milne’s writings and Pooh’s world. ...

Al Martinez, The Los Angeles Times With reality pressing down on the world like the closing lid of a coffin, a little magic is necessary to help light the darkness. I don't mean hocus-pocus magic but the twinkle and mist contained in fairy tales.

We need and should honor the kinds of storytellers who can weave gold out of cotton and sprinkle the ceiling of an ordinary room with stars. Theirs is a rare talent to enchant with tales told from books and from their own rich imaginations.

I have known two true storytellers in my life: Alec Haley, who could spellbind an audience with episodes from his Tennessee boyhood, and Peter Dennis, who crosses the country reading—creating—stories of Winnie-the-Pooh. …"

Mary Jo Melone, Columnist, The St. Petersburg Times, The American Stage Theatre ...The reason I am as I am is simple. I never read Winnie-the-Pooh as a kid. There you have it. The awful truth. Then a man at the paper suggested I see the British actor Peter Dennis’ one-man show of A. A. Milne’s works. He seemed to think it would be a hoot that this presumed tough-broad columnist would come back weeping in print for her lost childhood. Not me. Why boo-hoo when you can embarrass yourself by telling 400,000 people at once you never read the greatest work of children’s literature in the twentieth century until you were nearly 45? So I went. Listening was part pleasure, part relief. Here were stories meant to stir up the kid within and nobody once said the word ‘disfunction’. Listening to Dennis, I was reminded why every child has an imaginary friend, and why an imaginary friend is a child’s most necessary companion. Listening to Dennis, I was also reminded that as adults we almost all lose our ability to spin stories, and to need nothing but the pleasure of being alive. Christopher Robin called it doing Nothing. And when it came time to grow up, he knew just what would happen. “I’m not going to do Nothing any more ... they don’t let you.” Don’t think for a minute that I became weepy when Peter Dennis reached this part. No way. Not this tough cookie. Did not. Not for long, anyway. And I am no longer embarrassed to have been Pooh-poor for so long. Instead I have had the pleasure that first-times always bring, a more complex pleasure than a child’s perhaps, but still just as sweet. ...

The San Diego Reader, The Mandeville Auditorium, The University of California San Diego ... Is a visit to Bother! worth bothering about for anyone over six? The answer has got to be "Yes", for Milne's Pooh stories are at the very peak of children's literature, at the point where childish entertainment is transformed into high artistry and deep wisdom. ... they are gently ironic stories about childhood, narrated from a completely adult point of view - amused, indulgent, tender, and aware (as Christopher Robin was not) that the delights and difficulties of childhood last only for a time, before nature drives the self on to other stages of life. Dennis can be quite sure that he has dedicated himself to a text worthy of his own great talent. ...

Kay Kipling, The Longboat Observer, Sarasota, Florida, The Asolo Conservatory, Florida State University ... you may find yourself getting a bit weepy, no matter what your age, at the thought of saying goodbye to childhood and childhood friends. Luckily, you can always attend another performance to remind yourself that Pooh lives forever ...

Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune The Asolo Conservatory, Florida State University ... Dennis makes you feel like you've gathered in his living room for some after-supper readings of Pooh's adventures. It's simply a charming evening ... leaving me with a sense of melancholy about the stories never written and desire to read them all again with new eyes. ...

... If you’re looking for a show that will knock your socks off, then the Asolo Conservatory’s Bother! isn’t it. But if, amid the stresses and struggles of the holiday season, you’d really like a chance to relax, snuggle down and perhaps warm your toes by the fire, then there’s no better way to spend your evening. ... Peter Dennis is one of those rare individuals who has not lost touch with his child within. Dennis brings Milne’s stories to life with a combination of sophistication and delight, sure to please Pooh fans of all ages, and leaves you with an inner smile — warm, content and ready to trundle off to bed. ... The Asolo Conservatory, Florida State University, Willa Haynes, Bradenton Herald

Natalie Nichols, St. Petersburg Times, Florida, The American Stage Theatre ... Dennis’s myriad expressions, voices and gestures of Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore and others will kick-start even the rustiest imagination. Dennis’ craggy sorta-familiar-but-can’t-quite-place-it face is wonderfully expressive. He brings to glorious life each individual character as he reads. ...

Ann Haskins, LA Weekly Calendar Every Picture Tells A Story, Hollywood ... Dennis appreciates the deeper meanings, but as a master storyteller, he leaves the characters and Milne’s delicious language in the spotlight. Best of all, we’re left wanting to hurry home to reread the books. Dennis originally developed Bother! for adult audiences who remember the stories from their own childhoods, but now he offers a special performance for children who are ready to graduate from Disney’s version. Perhaps so parents won’t have to explain why the tale that sends their children into laughter brings tears to their own eyes. ...

Al Martinez, Los Angeles Times The Coronet Theatre, Los Angeles ... Pooh is about you and me and that cognac-colored moment when a scent of memory sends us flying back through time to a place in youth where, for a perfect instant, nothing is wrong. Pooh is about the sweetness in our lives, and while I am more Eeyore than Piglet, the sweetness brushed like a breeze against my face one night last week at the Coronet Theatre in West Los Angeles. Dennis has been the voice of Pooh for more than three decades, and brings to this remarkable one-man show a quality that goes beyond professionalism into an area we can't even begin to define .. The enchantment of an evening in the 100 Aker Wood was escape in its kindest sense, a brief removal from the pains and stresses that wrench our emotions from dawn to sunset, and sometimes into the shadows of our dreams. ...

L.A. Weekly Theater Award for Performance in a One-Character Show, Tom Provenzano, L.A. Weekly The Tamarind Theatre, Hollywood ... In Which Peter Dennis Gives a Splendiferous Performance and the Audience Gets a Treat ... the stories are better than we have ever heard them before. We get to hear a very old kind of language, a simple language, filled with happy and sad sounds ... There is an extra-special sweetness that is nothing like the sugary sweetness we can hear in Winnie-the-Pooh cartoons by Mr. Disney. It is the real sweetness of the last drops of honey at the very bottom of the jar in the middle of the forest on a windy day surrounded by distant green hills as the bees buzz around the very top of a big old oak tree where the birds are singing and the stream slips slowly under the wooden bridge that leads to the outland. If we are friendly with bears and memories of what is not new, we will love to hear Peter's stories. If we are not, we won't. ...

Lee Melville, Drama-Logue The Lee Strasberg Theatre, Hollywood ... To conceive such a simple evening of theatre magic is part of the imaginative talent Dennis displays but his acting range is what provides him with the ability to hold an audience's interest beyond the mere telling of a story. ...

Susan Armine, Los Angeles Reader The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Hollywood ... Dennis gives these stories a different life than they've ever had on the printed page ... one that a hundred Disney animated features can't touch. This is theatre at its most personal: the kind of simple vehicle in which a versatile actor who had done his homework can create magic. ... this is the American premiere of priceless results ...

Variety, The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Hollywood ...Peter Dennis gently coaxes the audience into their childhoods ... into a fantasy world that has as much to say to adults as it does to children ... What makes the piece so special is Dennis; he is a master craftsman...

comments powered by Disqus

Comments