Interview with Jonathan Rockefeller on Paddington Gets in a Jam

Everyone’s favorite bear is coming to NYC in the new, reimagined production, Paddington Gets in a Jam. Produced by Rockefeller Productions (they also produced the popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show) and directed by Jonathan Rockefeller, this new show follows the antics and adventures as Paddington makes jam, interacts with his ever-grumpy neighbor, and tries to help with his choirs, which, of course, leads to hysterical chaos.

To learn more about this production, we chatted with Jonathan Rockefeller who shared more about what to expect, which will likely involve a mix of fun and mayhem! Read on to discover more about the show, plus how to get your tickets to this limited-run experience.

Interview with Jonathan Rockefeller on Paddington Gets in a Jam

Interview with Jonathan Rockefeller on Paddington Gets in a Jam

Weekend Jaunts: We are so excited for Paddington Gets in a Jam! How did the idea to make it a show come about?

Jonathan Rockefeller: I’m so glad you’re excited – we are too! Paddington is a wonderful character–always friendly, polite and eager to be of use to others.

If you’ve read the books or seen the movies, you know you are in for all sorts of messy, sticky and hilarious predicaments that seem to follow Paddington wherever he goes.

Weekend Jaunts: What can families expect from the show?

Jonathan Rockefeller:  Audiences can expect lots of fun and lots of mayhem!

Paddington always manages to find himself in trouble – or rather, trouble has a way of finding Paddington. He is just that sort of bear.

But hilarious to see Paddington’s mishaps unfold in front of you. Without giving too much away, there’s an exploding vacuum cleaner, a sticky situation with wallpaper glue, a water disaster involving a broken pipe… and have you ever thought about what happens when you put far too much self-rising flour in a cake mix?!

What qualities do you look for when you produce/create a new show?

Jonathan Rockefeller: It’s a welcome challenge to bring iconic and beloved characters ‘to life’ – especially characters so widely-known and beloved as Paddington.
The show Rockefeller Productions always aims to create is a show for the ‘five year old me’ and the ‘me in the present’. Family shows should be for the entire family, and entertain parents and children alike.

We hold an overarching philosophy with all our productions: to never ‘talk down’ to our audience – children are always smarter and more perceptive than you think. Our goal is to foster a life-long-love for the theatre and an appreciation of the arts.

We hope everyone leaves the theatre with a smile on their face–knowing that they have enjoyed a unique family experience that can be shared with others – without a cell phone or an iPad in sight.

Weekend Jaunts: What was the directing process like creating a show based around a renowned character?

Jonathan Rockefeller: Paddington is so endearing, so funny and so charming it’s not surprising that he has been part of our collective imagination for decades. Paddington is also somewhat unique in that he has been drawn by several illustrators over the years, and most recently appeared in film and animation.

For over 60 years, readers have imagined what it would be like to meet Paddington, so our job is to ensure that Paddington is as ‘real’ as a marmalade-eating bear can be! This is a challenge in its own right. You won’t see puppeteers, which creates a daunting challenge in its own right, with choreography of the many, many props and puppeteer positions to enable the best puppet performance.

Our puppeteers are extremely talented miracle workers – it is an endurance test to hold your arms in the air for an hour, all the while crouched on a chair mounted on small wheels, saying your lines and picking up objects without looking.

Weekend Jaunts: Anything else to add?

Jonathan Rockefeller: Paddington is only in New York at the DR2 for a very limited time. Be sure to catch him before he packs his suitcase!

Get your tickets to see Paddington Gets in Jam at Union Squares DR2 Theatre (103 East 15 Street) from December 13th-December 30th. 

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WeekendJaunts

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