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Family Values: A Nose for Trouble


By Brad A. Greenberg '04

Published Jan 1, 2009 8:00 AM

Photo Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse.

His life began as a log of pine that found its way into the hands of a carpenter known for crafting wooden dolls. The carpenter, Geppetto, was amazed to learn that his doll had life. He gave his creation a name that translated from Italian to English as "eye of pine" — you know him as Pinocchio.

It's a compelling, entertaining story arc — though in the more familiar Disney version, the namesake of Carlo Collodi's famous story is a lot more adorable than his rude, violent, egocentric literary self. But as essential as Pinocchio's travails are to the plot, they are not the reason children and adults similarly remember this 125-year-old tale.

Long after a wooden log would have rotted, Pinocchio lives on because of a nose that he couldn't stop from growing. And in January, the Geffen Playhouse will host Will and Company's retelling of this children's classic as part of their Saturday Scene children's series.

It's an appropriate message as we celebrate our connection to one another during the holidays and beyond. After all, the only thing that stopped the growth of Pinocchio's nose was truthfulness, and children learn early from the little wooden boy that unless they want to blind their loved ones with protruding beaks, they ought never tell a lie.

"Will and Company's Pinocchio" — the Geffen Saturday Scene children's series. Jan. 10. 11 a.m. Geffen Playhouse. For more information, call (310) 208-5454 or log on to