Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Numbers Alive! Cookin’ Up Numbers

By • Jul 20th, 2010 • Category: Fringe, Reviews
Cookin’ Up Numbers
Numbers Alive!
The Mountain
Through July 23rd
60 minutes
Reviewed July 17, 2010

The Official Description: Think numbers are only useful to balance your checkbook? Join Becca, a junior baker facing a dreaded math test, on a musical and visual romp through history, nature and art, during which Pi teaches her the value of numbers.

What You’ll Like: Becca (Yvonne Roen) opens the production by trying to make some chocolate chip cookies. But her frustration with trying to figure out all the numbers that are a part of recipes stops her. Then Pi (Erik Onate) appears and helps her overcome her fear of numbers. Genna Davidson, Cecilia Cackley, and Michael Page play all ten digits (puppets). The songs are cute, the number puppets were a surprise, the oven set was well designed and constructed, the smell of chocolate chip cookies wafts throughout the theater, and a few higher level math lessons are shared.

What You Won’t: On the upstage wall, projections were flashed to supplement the song being sung. I found that distracting, as the information was quite detailed and went by too quickly to be absorbed. (The Numbers Alive! web site has some of the slides available.)

Some of the mathematical concepts introduced in the show weren’t targeted correctly for the intended audience. I thought that starting the show by introducing the number pi (not the character Pi), via radius, circumference and diameter to be confusing. I wonder if using real numbers in examples would have helped? Then converting a phone number (whose phone number was that?) into its binary equivalent and introducing the concept of Phi and the Fibonacci sequence were definitely advanced concepts.

Overall: A fun show, but not aimed at young children.


  • Becca: Yvonne Roen
  • Pi: Erik Onate
  • 0, 2, 4, 6, 8: Genna Davidson
  • 1, 2, 7, 9: Cecilia Cackley
  • 3, 5: Michael Page


  • Director: Steven Scott Mazzola
  • Assistant Director & Choreographer: Kelly Williams Carlson
  • Stage Manager: Lisa K. Blythe
  • Puppet Design & Construction: Michael Cotter, Blue Sky Puppet Theatre, Inc.
  • Costume Design: Andrea Schewe
  • Set Design: Jeramie Bellmay
  • Visual Media: Gareth Kaple, Rebecca Klemm, & Diana Tung
  • Dramaturgy: Rebecca Klemm, Diane Tung
  • Documentary Filmmaker: Amitabh Klemm

Disclaimer: Capital Fringe provided a complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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One Response »

  1. Please note the music creators:

    Yvonne Roen – Lyrics
    Tom Berger – Composer
    Brian Wilbur Grundstrom – Music Director/Arranger/Orchestrator