Any day spent with Winnie the Pooh is one of my favorites. The moment I saw the first preview ad over the summer, I fell in love. Since then, I’ve been dying to see the musical starring my favorite willy, nilly, silly, old bear. I was fortunate enough to experience this happiest hundred acre wood adventure at the beginning of my winter break in December. My verdict? It’s one of my new favorite stage productions.
Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation is an hour long musical performance that follows the story of Winnie the Pooh and friends as Pooh searches for his favorite sweet treat – “hunny” – while Christopher Robin is at school. We see our pals’ antics through all four seasons of the year, and yes, all of our friends are there. The show features life-size puppets of Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, and Rabbit, all similar to the style of puppets found in Finding Nemo: The Musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Before you even enter the theatre, you’re welcomed by a lobby filled with plushies and original art. At the merchandise stand, you can purchase your own Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, or Eeyore (all modeled after the puppets in the show) for just $30 – a popular keepsake amongst the audience I was at. I purchased my Pooh before the show and he sat on my lap for the duration of the performance. I can say with confidence that it heightened my experience. Before the audience opened, you could snap a photo in front of a step-and-repeat, look at models for the puppets, and see concept art for all of the costumes and puppets. Once the house opened, you were immediately welcomed into the calming sights and sounds of the Hundred Acre Wood, seeing the gorgeous set in a calm state before the adventure starts.
The show is hands-down one of the sweetest productions on Broadway. The story was original, but felt like a natural continuation of the Pooh franchise I’ve grown up with and hold so closely to my heart. I spent the entire hour with a smile on my face, and teared up at several heartfelt moments throughout the show. The show relied on many practical effects, yet, every single one was impressive. My mom also came with me to the show and commented on how happily I sat the entire show, saying that I almost looked like I did as a kid at Disney World again. The audience was largely filled with adults and young adults (there were only about seven kids in the whole audience), and not a single person walked about without a smile or a happy feeling. I also noticed that most of the other young adults held “lap buddies” from the merchandise stand and also loved their decision.
There was certainly no shortage of talent, either. Jake Bazel was the most perfect Pooh bear imaginable, and I couldn’t believe that Sebastiano Ricci was an understudy as opposed to full-time Tigger. Kirsty Moon was an adorable Piglet and Roo, and Kristina Dizon was an incredible Kanga. While everyone was so talented, Emmanuel Elpenord was one of the strongest performers of the morning, playing Owl, Rabbit, and Eeyore with so much intention and passion. Had you not been able to see Elpenord, you wouldn’t be able to believe that he portrayed all three characters, as each was so distinct, yet so flawless.
I cannot recommend Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation enough. It was a precious story and an even more enjoyable stage adaptation that is perfect for all ages. If you’re looking to see the show in New York, there truly isn’t a bad seat in the house.
If you’re interested in visiting the Hundred Acre Theatre, you won’t have to break the bank. Prices for the New York (ending January 31st) run start at $42. The Chicago run opens on March 15th and lasts for 13 weeks. Tickets start at $44. Premium and VIP packages are also available, with VIP tickets including souvenirs (one of which is a plush of your choice) and a photo op with the cast. To learn more about the Winnie the Pooh show and the new Pooh Crew program, you can click here.
Have you seen or are you planning to see the Winnie the Pooh musical? Let me know in the comments below!
Want to learn more about my visit to the Hundred Acre Theatre? Check out my TikTok here, and stay tuned for a vlog from my full day in the city coming soon to my YouTube channel.
Have a terrific day!