Review: Dragons Love Tacos at Olympia Family Theater

by Alec Clayton

Olympia Family Theater continues its tradition of producing top-quality and highly inventive children’s theater with playwright Ernie Nolan’s clever adaptation of the action-packed book “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin.

Left to right: Sara Holbrecht and Xander Wheeler

Be prepared for juggling, gymnastics, an accordion solo, and a bucket full and boatload of tacos plus a quartet of joyful dancing dragons. And even an interactive dance party.

The play opens quietly with a young boy (Xander Wheeler) lethargically and silently doing his homework with a giant pencil and clipboard. The quiet does not last long, however, as the boy’s loyal dog Leroy (Sara Holbrecht), enters the room and makes its presence known. Leroy is rambunctious and fun loving and can’t hold still for a moment. Soon the boy turns on the television where a circus-style pitchman, listed in the program as Man in Suit (Ben Matthews), is pitching a book about the titillating secrets of dragons. There is something magical about Man in Suit. When he reaches out, his arm and hand go off the TV screen and through the house and out a window, and soon he flies out of the television set and is in the room with the boy and his dog telling them the first titillating secret about dragons, which is that they love tacos. But warning: they love only tacos with mild toppings. Spicy tacos do terrible things to them, starting with horrendous stomach rumblings.

Ben Matthews

All of this becomes abundantly clear when the house is overrun by loud and playful dragons. There’s a Red Dragon (Audrey Spinazola), a Yellow Dragon (Meg Rosenberg), a Blue Dragon (Ejay Amor), and a White Dragon (Stephani Hemness); and they are each and every one just as rambunctious and fun-loving as Leroy the dog.

The boy and the dog give the dragons boatloads of tacos, and there is a wild taco party with dancing and whirling and twirling all over the house. But some of the tacos have hot salsa. Uh oh, watch out!

Left to right: Meg Rosenberg and Xander Wheeler

The entire cast is new to this reviewer, and they are each superb. Mathews is a great comedian, and all four of the dragons are energetic and entertaining dancers. Wheeler shows every indication of being a child actor who will grow into more and more mature roles as he grows up.  

“I’m so excited to work with a fantastically talented group of comedians — this show is a joy project for everyone involved and will bring smiles to everyone who sees it and/or works on it! It’s silly and fun and has stage directions like ‘an exaltation of lettuce’ and ‘a celebration of cheese’. How could you not love that?”

Director Kate Arvin

Recommended for ages 3 and up. Advance ticket reservation is recommended due to limited seating.

Masks are strongly encouraged, but not required for shows on Fridays and Saturdays. Masks are required at all Sunday performances.

“Dragons Love Tacos”

7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday through Nov. 20 (SOLD OUT Nov. 5, 6, 12)

Olympia Family Theatre, 612 4th Ave E • Olympia



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