Olivia Short ‘17
“Bonjour, Mesdames et Messieurs,” a boy chimed center-stage. He continued on– “le théâtre Xavier présente Le Petit Prince”— as his director help up translated cue cards for the audience to read. The crowd stirred with excitement, and violins rang out as actors took the stage.
It was St. Xavier High School’s production of The Little Prince, a stage adaption of the children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The show was fantastic— a huge, whimsical production that threw its audience right into a storybook world. It was 100% theatre with an -re.
What most amazed me was the aesthetic. There were ballerinas dressed in white frills, gilded flowers, and chiffon as far as the eye could see. The set pieces were made to look like huge open storybooks, giving the whole show a delicate drawing-room look. This is best seen below in the outfits of Julie Deye ‘17 and Cat Bowman ‘17– Pantaloons! Chiffon! Gold trim!
(Mercy students turned royalty thanks to the costume/makeup crews. Photos, left to right: Olivia Short ‘17, Aaron Bauer ‘17)
Equally impressive was the action of the show– the actors trained to create a Cirque du Xavier with gymnastic ballet, juggling, acrobatics and unicyclery inspired by Cirque du Soliel.
(Students train outside during rehearsal. Photo: stxavier.org)
The cast trained with a local nonprofit called My Nose Turns Red, the youth circus of Cincinnati. They learned acrobatics and German Wheel techniques from experts in preparation for The Little Prince. The result was so over-the-top, with complex juggling routines set to instrumental music (including Lindsey Stirling!!!)
(YAS. Photos, left to right: Olivia Short ‘17, Theatre Xavier Facebook)
One student, Ryan Smith ‘17, took it a step further in the aerial silks. All of his stagetime was spent ~15 feet above the ground, supporting himself with only two lengths of silk. He even twirled upside down and did a few handsfree moves– it required ridiculous body strength, but he did it so gracefully. His snake makeup was amazing too– credits to Mercy junior Aaron Bauer who headed the hair and makeup crew!
(My favorite part of this photo is the en-pointe stance and stilts are so casual. Just another day at TX. Photo: Aaron Bauer ’17)
I can only summarize the show as gilded lily dipped in chocolate with more gold shavings on top. It is so, so good. I can honestly see myself going back a second time– the show runs this weekend, with 7 P.M. shows on Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21. Tickets are $12, and can be bought at the door or stxavier.org/tickets.