Open Eye Figure Theatre, the company run by Michael Sommers and his life/art partner Susan Haas in a cozy and distinctive Phillips storefront space, has always been a family affair. It’s all the more so now that the couple’s adult daughter Zoe Sommers Haas is taking a larger role in developing the company’s programming.
Zoe Sommers Haas is creator and star of The Learning Fairy, a new show opening at Open Eye on October 15, based on a character Haas publicly debuted in January at Rock the Cradle.
“The show features Sommers Haas in the title role,” reads the press release, along with her rock and roll band (Noah Sommers Haas, Max Spector, and Michael Sommers), her best friend Mr. Make-It (Julian McFaul), the ever present Questioning Girl (Carly Wicks), her flying pig, the tiny little minnie tinies, and a giant giggle ball. The Learning Fairy extols the joy of playing outside, being good to yourself and your community, and celebrating what makes us different.”
With Pee Wee Herman’s revived Playhouse garnering critical boos on Broadway, it seems the time is ripe as ever for a new bizzaro-educational fantasy. It would be worth seeing if only for the unfailingly funny Wicks, who I suspect will have some very good questions up her sleeves.
Photo: Zoe Sommers Haas, courtesy Open Eye Figure Theatre