Bush, Max. Plays For Young Audiences featuring The Emerald Circle and other plays by Max Bush. Meriwether Publishing, 1995. ISBN 1- 56608-0118. $16.95. Puss in Boots A All Puss in Boots is a delightful adaptation of the classic tale. As in each of the adaptations found in this anthology, Bush has stayed true to the original characters and story line, but he still manages to present the classic tale in a fresh light. Fleshing out the traditional characters, the playwright provides a contemporary conscience without the heavy moralizing and sentimentality of the original. In this story, young Claude, the Miller’s son, is dismayed to learn that upon his father’s death his sole inheritance is his father’s cat, Puss. The cat soon proves to be a master swordsman and resourceful companion, and their relationship, though often contentious, is based on genuine affection. Infatuated with the Princess Annette, Claude tells Puss of his admiration for the young royal, knowing that his station in life would never allow the opportunity for even a brief introduction. The loyal, clever Puss creates a hilarious scheme by which Claude assumes the role of the marquis of Carabas, outwits the King, and earns his daughter’s hand. Set in France in the late 1600s, this adaptation offers outstanding opportunities for elaborate period costuming and set design. However, because of the strength of the script, a more modest production concept would be effective. Although the play includes traveling through several locations, the piece can be produced quite easily and would work exceptionally well as a touring piece. Appropriate for production by school, community, or professional companies, this charming piece will appeal to all ages.
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