The fifth part of The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon introduces a second character, Harold’s friend, a little girl. Their friendship begins to blossom in a garden, but when the girl is kidnapped by insidious spiders (!), Harold must come to her rescue.
It’s in this fifth section that Robbie Molinari, the animator who created the projected scenery for the production, really takes flight. Harold’s search for the little girl requires him to travel to a castle and explore the rooms of that castle, and the interaction of movement and stage animation is remarkably ingenious. Walking, climbing, opening doors, disappearing through doors, bouncing off of locked doors – Harold does so many things that we forget that what we’re seeing are actors moving about on an empty stage.
The music of the garden scene, like several other sections of the Harold score, was adapted from a theme I created for a music-theater adaptation of Einstein’s Dreams that I had worked on a few years earlier. There’ll be selections from that work posted on Project 194 in the days to come, at which point I’ll be sure to link them up.
The “searching the castle” sequence sounds more like something Henry Mancini might have written for The Pink Panther, and the instrumentalists (Ron Kerber on sax and Matt Gallagher on trumpet) give solid, swinging performances. The search and the upcoming chase are among the satisfying sections of this score for me!