HINCKLEY – It’s probably the ultimate trick you can pull on your child, especially Halloween night.
In the children’s musical puppet show, “Mikey’s First Halloween.” Mikey’s parents allow him to go up to houses trick-or-treating on his own for the very first time. Of course, they’re lingering on the sidewalk, watching everything.
The puppet show, which was performed by Jeannie McQueenie Productions of Chicago, was presented last Friday afternoon at the Hinckley Public Library.
Dressed as Captain America, Mikey approaches five houses, which are opened by a scary witch, Frankenstein’s monster, a singing cowboy, a clown and a skeleton – none of whom give him any candy.
“I don’t have any candy, but a song is a treat,” the Singing Cowboy, who serenaded Mikey in a rousing tune, told him as he sent him on his way with his bag still empty.
As the evening ends, Mikey discovers that his parents have pulled a joke on him, telling everyone on his block not to give him any candy. As Mikey finally got some candy, the children in the audience were allowed to choose a treat from a plastic pumpkin.
As she does in all her children’s puppet shows, owner and founder Jean Vanier had the children interacting with her and her puppets throughout the 45-minute performance. At one point, girls in the audience were given a witch’s hat and asked to dance with the puppet witch at the foot of the stage. Another time, the children were given apples which they shared with a skeleton, so he could eat healthy and be transformed into a healthy person.
Learning, Vanier said, is a big part of all her shows, which she has produced at schools, libraries, private parties and corporate functions throughout the Midwest for the last three years.
“Someone asked me to do a show,” she said. “It started slow and it keeps building.”
A professional singer, Vanier said she writes original music and stories for the productions, many of which she creates for specific parties. Vanier also makes all the puppets herself, along with assistant Nikki Greenlee, who helps paint them.
“We thought it’s something good for the kids to see,” parent Jessica Moran, said.
Without a doubt, the most popular puppets at the Hinckley show were the scary witches.
Besides entertaining and inspiring children, Vanier also likes children to use their imaginations, which is what one 2-year-old girl obviously did. She said she liked the rabbits the best, even though there weren’t any.