Elyse Ashton and Morgan Zenith in “The Girl Who Owned a Bear” in the History Lit production at Pasadena Museum of History. Credit: Daniel Kitayama
by Laura Berthold Monteros
Three carefully chosen plays offer a spectrum of emotions in Unbound Productions History Lit at Pasadena Museum of History through July 31. This is the second time the company has mounted a trio of adapted short stories reflecting various historical periods at the museum. History Lit is immersive theater, where the action takes place in close proximity to the audience and the venue enhances the stories. Two of the plays, “The Garden Party” and “Two Pictures in One” were originally presented four years ago, and one, “The Girl Who Owned a Bear,” makes its debut.
Jonathan Josephson’s adaptation of a short story from American Fairy Tales by L. Frank Baum, “The Girl Who Owned a Bear” is a delightful confection that utilizes the current exhibit at PMH, “Flying Horses & Mythical Beasts: The Magical World of Carousel Animals.” It was the perfect setting for the fanciful tale of…well, you have to see it, but let’s just say that it’s the story of a resourceful and imaginative, if a bit spoiled, young lady who does not like to read. Morgan Zenith captured the credulity of Jane Gladys and Chairman Barnes brought humor to the affable author Peter Smith. Elyse Ashton, Mark Bate, and Melissa Perl played creatures only Baum could have dreamed up.
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