For 23 years many fans of children’s theater have used as their measuring stick for quality a five-member ensemble that goes under the unlikely name of the Paper Bag Players. Their name derives from the unusual assortment of materials—almost all paper—that they fashion into imaginative props and costumes. This season’s offering, which is currently touring in the East, is Hot Feet, a satirical look at life in urban America. It consists of 14 sketches based on the phenomena of everyday life—but with marvelously inventive differences: a garbage man who really loves litter, a nail shrewdly avoiding blows from a determined hammer, an apartment dweller with an unstoppable leak. Audience participation is encouraged and the kids unfailingly respond with glee. Adults too.
The group’s latest itinerary includes Charlottesville, Va. (March 7), High Point, N.C. (March 9-11), Canton, N.Y. (March 24-31), Plattsburgh, N.Y. (April 1), Johnstown, N.Y. (April 2), Burlington, Vt. (April 3), Rutland, Vt. (April 4), Endicott, N.Y. (April 8), Binghamton, N.Y. (April 9), Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (April 11). Come fall, the Bags (as they call themselves) will pack up once again and perhaps rustle into your vicinity. Keep an eye on your local, er, paper.