In this sword and sorcery saga, filled with Middle Eastern mythology and magic, witches, genies, flying carpets and magic boats, Sinbad the Sailor, now a blind old man, is living comfortably in Baghdad with his self-centered teenage daughter Ittifaq. Soon after delivering a mysterious wooden box to the legendary hero, a headstrong young man, also named Sinbad (the Porter), experiences the powers of an evil sorceress firsthand as she conjures a cloud over the city. It will poison every adult unless a certain exotic floral antidote is brought to her. A magical quest is undertaken, forcing Sinbad the Porter and Ittifaq to bury the hatchet and unite forces for the greater good.
Filled with magical moments, thrilling combat and awe-inspiring special effects, Mr. Way’s drama about transformations of all kinds, while entertaining, tries to accomplish far too much. The story is too long and much too involved for young audiences and, at 90 minutes, sometimes fails to keep young audiences from becoming restless. It simply could benefit from a bit of trimming.
High praise goes to director Amanda Delheimer’s orchestration of her multitalented, six-member cast who perform the tasks of a much larger company. Each actor plays multiple roles and deserves a standing ovation. Employing Japanese Kabuki theatrics, such as kuroko (“invisible” stagehands dressed entirely in black who move scenery, props and even actors during the play), rod puppetry and keren (simple tricks and illusions), this production retains the spicy flavor of the Arabian Nights while feeling contemporary.