John Tartaglia’s “ImaginOcean” is a fun, bubbly black-light musical puppet show for younger kids. It’s about using your imagination, teamwork and friendship, the greatest treasure of all. It is playing at New World Stages in Manhattan.
The entire stage is dark, and the puppets and sets magically float on the set.
It all starts when Dorsel, who is afraid of everything, Tank, the strongest of the fish, and Bubbles, who is outgoing, find a treasure map that leads to a treasure chest. They follow the directions on a map to an exciting adventure through the ocean. During their adventure, they have to collect medals that will finally lead them to the treasure chest.
We thought the play was cute, creative and interesting. The effects made it feel like you were in the ocean finding the medals with Dorsel, Tank, and Bubbles. We think the show is mainly for kids ages 2 to 6, and was a little young for our taste (being that we are in grades 5 and above), but parents will get a kick out of it. Overall, it was a pretty good show. We give it 41/2 out of 5 stars.
After the show, we got to see how all the puppets work. It turns out that most are simply hand puppets with handles and switches. Leonard, the octopus, was probably the most complicated puppet; it took three people to maneuver him. The waves were just a white piece of fabric. The darkness made the waves turn blue and the colors of most things turn neon. The eyeballs were gray in the light, but in the dark they were pearl white.
Then, we interviewed John Tartaglia, the producer, creator and writer of the show. John is a friendly, energetic and creative person. He spent a long time answering our questions and gave great answers, too. John also had great focus and paid amazing attention to our questions. After our interview, we got a poster and glow-in-the-dark bracelets. We had a great time.