Children’s play ‘Balloonacy’ reimagines classic tale for a new audience

A new spin on a classic tale is now on stage at Hoboken’s Miles Square Theater.
Some may be familiar with the children’s book, “The Red Balloon,” or even the classic movie. It tells the adventures of a little boy in France who finds a red balloon.
The play “Balloonacy” takes that classic tale and updates it. It imagines the little boy from that story all grown up, who finds joy again when the balloon from his childhood returns.
There is no dialogue in the play. The entire half-hour show is mimed by actor Chris O'Connor.
“It’s all muscle memory, rather than text memory. We would joke in rehearsal that I couldn’t call for line, but I could call for mime,” O’Connor says.
O'Connor says that the performance is a full-circle moment for him.
“I love clowning, and I worked my way through college as a mime. That was actually my side gig. I would do mime shows at schools and I would do clowning and miming in the street,” he says.
O'Connor says he was drawn to this play.
“The balloon arrives outside [my character’s] apartment window to reignite their friendship. And he's forgotten about the balloon, so he begins to remember and re-engage with his sense of play,” O’Connor says.
"Balloonacy" is a limited engagement and closes this Sunday. There are just a few more performances. Tickets for children start at $15.