|The toy theatre includes a great example of pre-restoration (2013) interior architectural accuracy...|
[Photo Credit: Kelli Kirk]
Last week, one very lucky little boy received a rare Christmas gift nowadays: A toy theatre. Not only was it a toy theatre, but it was an original, newly-conceived theatre based on the Richard Rodgers theatre in New York City. On top of that, it was based on that theatre's current production - HAMILTON.
Milo's mother, Kelli shares a bit more:
For the past month, Mark and I have worked late at night after bedtime to build Milo a Victorian style "Toy Theater" of the play Hamilton: An American Musical - it includes a wooden stage, and all the players on tiny marionette wires. It was a
painstaking project with tremendous scope creep but it is faithful to the original Victorian style toy theater as we could muster, except in the LED lighting - executive prerogative.
Actual side marque that Milo's toy
theatre was faithfully based upon...
Toy Theater was a cultural phenomenon in the 19th century, a style of puppeteering that included a small stage and tiny 'marionette' style characters. Parents would go to the theater and bring home a toy version of the theater so the child could act out a play. When we visited London, puppeteers recommended we visit Pollock's Toy Museum which has a large collection. Pollock's was one of those quintessentially London places - tiny, many floors tall, higgledy-piggledy collections of amazing old toy theaters and childhood ephemera. Milo was completely captivated by them -- but they aren't really made today [at least not in the same way they once were - Note from Trish.]
|Milo has had a passion for puppetry ever since he can |
remember. His Christmas gift of a toy theatre version
of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, featuring a production
of "Hamilton", made at night in secret by his parents!
[Photo Credit: Kelli Kirk]
Our gift was a success and Milo declared, "Mom, this is the best present I ever got!" and quickly set about to acting out the Cabinet Battle.
From an article called The Rise and Fall of Toy Theatre (in recent years, it is rising again):
...A toy theatre was, as we will see, a tiny but complex structure—as intricate and lovingly assembled, in its way, as model railroads can be for today’s hobbyists. In its prime, it was not a nostalgic hobby but a breathless bulletin from the newly emerging world of mass communications and global celebrities—a chance for ordinary people to touch their heroes in person...
I have it on good authority that Milo and his Mom are two of the very lucky people who have secured tickets to HAMILTON, and will be attending a performance in the new year, in the new future. When Milo comes back home, I have a feeling he will be even more excited about not only the theatre but putting on a performance.
Welcome to the toy theatre family, Milo!
|Comparing the theatre's exterior front to the toy theatre's, you can see the amount of detail that Milo's parents, |
Kelli & Mark, put into recreating the Rodger's theatre on a miniature scale - a very fine job for their first time.