The Glendale Centre Theatre, with its lushly carpeted lobby, wood paneling and steeply beveled red seats, is attractive. Its production of "Pinocchio," is less so.
Tad Allyn Doyle's new musical version of Carlo Collodi's classic may contain elements that make good children's theater (audience participation, colorful costumes, humor and upbeat music to keep things moving), but the end result here is empty formula.
The music, played by Piano Lady Karen Peterson, is cheerful enough. Sets are at a minimum. Costumes, credited to Marguerite Topping, Doyle and Debbie La Franchi, owe much of their inspiration to Walt Disney, as does the general tenor of the production.
Innovations include replacing Jiminy Cricket with a canine named Smudge (Noreen Reardon, in a large dog suit).
The Blue Fairy has become a rotund, wisecracking Fairy Blue (Patrika Darbo), with a full complement of "fat" jokes ("I'd fly but I've only passed my elementary level--it takes a lot to get me off the ground").