Pooh comes to life through Jazz

August 31, 2007

Photo of Phil Woods and Peter Dennis
A world-renowned Jazz legend has joined a English actor to bring the stories of Pooh to life by combining A.A Milne's children's verse with jazz music. Their vision has been 40-years in the making, delayed by difficulties in being granting permission to perform Milne's verse on stage.

Phil Woods has composed 'Buttercup Days' and will contain verses from "Now We Are Six", a book by Milne that predates the Pooh stories. Woods was awarded the 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship for his prior compositions. Peter Dennis is the only actor authorised by the Pooh Trustees of England to read the Pooh stories on stage. It took Woods six years to get permission to read Milne's works. It was only after Woods had the opportunity to read in front of Christopher Robin Milne, did the rights be granted.

Unfortunately, Pooh will not make an appearance for he was only introduced in Milne's later works. Dennis added, "A.A. Milne didn't write these stories and verses for children. He didn't particularly like children. He wrote these four, 'When We Were Young,' 'Winnie-the-Pooh,' 'Now We Are Six' and 'House at Pooh Corner' for the child within you." The performance will also include theatrical sets, costumes and lighting to bring the stories to life. A CD recording has been made and a DVD of the actual performance is due to be created, featuring a 5 camera shoot and behind the scenes footage. All proceeds from the show will be donated to Pocono Area Transitional Housing.

Buttercup Days premieres this Thursday at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg (7:30PM, at the Sherman Theater, 524 Main Street, Stroudsburg). Pocono Records has further details. Tickets can be purchased from the Sherman Theater box office.