Isaac Mizrahi Is Spending Another Holiday Season Embracing His Passion For The Stage In “Peter And The Wolf”

Photo by Richard Termine

This holiday season, families can once again head over the Guggenheim to see “Peter and the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi.” The acclaimed fashion designer is swapping his passion for styling celebrities for another passion–the stage.

Mizrahi is currently directing, narrating, and designing all of the costumes for “Peter and the Wolf,” a captivating children’s tale is based on a story by Sergei Prokofiev which is narrated by Mizrahi, performed by the Ensemble Signal cast, and choreographed by John Heginbotham. “Peter and the Wolf” is a coming-of-age tale where each character is portrayed by the sound of a different musical instrument of the orchestra. The story follows an arrogant boy who disobeys his grandfather and joins his animal friends as they deceive a very hungry wolf.

We caught up with Mizrahi to get exclusive look on what to expect from this year’s production, which begins December 2 at the Guggenheim.

How is Guggenheim’s version of “Peter and the Wolf” different from other productions on Prokofiev’s classic tale?

The show is set on the Upper East Side at Central Park and the set provides little winks of New York. Since it takes place in Central Park, it’s set in a place where it’s not the perfect world, it’s slightly messed up and people throw stuff on the street. The wolf is very rough-edged wolf cartoon character that comes into the park. Peter is this rebellious Upper East Side boy wearing a school boy outfit as he is walking around Central Park where mischief happens.

What inspired you to join the Ensemble Signal cast to perform this production?

I created, narrated, designed, and director the entire the production. I’ve been working with the Guggenheim with different versions of Peter and the Wolf with different artists for 4-5 years just narrating it along with the orchestra. It occured to me that I needed to create my own version. I staged it and called my friend John Heginbotham and that’s how it worked out.

You are starring as the narrator, directing, and designing the costumes and set. How does it feel multitasking creatively on this project?

You know, it’s such a pleasure–it’s a labor of love for me!  It’s something that I’ve been doing for 5 years. People love it so much! I love it so much, but I feel that people love it too that has become customary holiday tradition that people have keep coming back again and again to see it. It’s so funny but I can’t explain why but when you know you have a project and you know exactly what you want to do with it. It’s easy for me to direct, costumes, sets and I can narrate it and I had a clear vision on this project.

Photo by Richard Termine

Why do you love “Peter and the Wolf?”

I love the production in many different reasons. First off, the music is great! It’s music that I feel is kind of like classic in our literature. It’s very classic but it doesn’t get a lot of attention. I feel like this is my play. I really wanted to create a little holiday play the people could come to year after year. The music is so fantastic! I love that the show is not boring–it really teaches kids the relationship between a character and a musical instrument. Each character in the play has their own musical instrument in the orchestra. I wanted to have the ability to create a character duo where every character matched the musical instrument in classical music orchestra. It’s such a great thing, I love it!

How do you tap into your theatrical side?

You know, it’s something that I do more often now than designing clothes. I started my whole creative career in the theatre. I attended a theatre arts high school. I made puppets and costumes in high school. Then I started working on shows and became an actor and went to acting school. I started working on shows the minute I finished high school. I also do a cabaret event every year as well. I also have directed a lot of theatre shows. I even directed a few operas in St. Louis and creating costumes for different productions as well.

[gravityform id=”14″ title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”true”]

How did you create the costumes for each character in the play?

My favorite things to watch growing up as a kid were simple shows like “Kukla, Fran, and Ollie,” “Sesame Street, and this ballet by Jerome Robbins called “The Concert.” The costumes for the ballet are so simple and the performers in the production are wearing a leotard, a big hat, curls and a feathered boa. It was basically not a lot of overthinking and designing. I wanted to look slightly elemental. I wanted to create these costumes where kids can be able to connect the dots themselves–no special effects. For example, one of the characters is a duck. The performer has a bright yellow beak with Groucho Marx inspired glasses, a green bandana, a white cardigan with a tutu, and bright orange flippers.

Do you have a favorite character’s costume you enjoyed creating the most?

Personally, I definitely love the duck! She is sort of the star of the show in my eyes.

Why do you think families should come see “Peter and the Wolf” at the Guggenheim?

This is a kid-friendly show and so my vision is to make the show appealing to kids and adults to get a lot out of it. We also feel that everyone would like it, even adults will laugh at the show so it’s definitely is family-filled entertainment. No one will goes away from that show feeling bored, this is a satisfying production that will leave everybody wanting more in this family experience. I mean just by coming to this incredible museum and going downstairs to seeing this incredible architecture that the Guggenheim has to offer–I mean that should be seen by all from the oldest to the youngest in the family! One thing that I would say is that the show is worth coming back for because it changes every year and the casting changes, too. The readings are also different as well depending on how the performers interact with the audience. The reaction from the audience is so varied from show to show since it’s mainly for kids but it’s really worth watching!

For more information and to purchase tickets for the show, visit guggenheim.com.

Relevant Directory Listings

See More

Steps on Broadway Youth Programs

<p class="m_6201101365486487057m_1751229968981391907gmail-m-6447730382188674378msonospacing" style="color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif;">For 40 years, the Youth Programs at the internationally celebrated Steps on Broadway have nurtured young dancers, ages 18 months to 18 years.  Whether seeking a fun dance experience or comprehensive pre-professional training, there is a program suited for everyone.  Classes include ballet, tap, jazz, theater dance, hip hop, contemporary, modern, pointe and more.  Taught by a faculty of internationally-recognized concert, ballet, Broadway and celebrated guest artists, every student is encouraged to discover their artistic uniqueness, deepen their passion for the art form, while growing as dancers and individuals. </span><u></u><u></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 10pt; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background: white;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #5a5a5a;">Classes are offered throughout the academic year and summer.</span><u></u><u></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 10pt; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background: white;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #5a5a5a;">First Steps (ages 18 mos – 5 yrs)</span><u></u><u></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 10pt; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background: white;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #5a5a5a;">Kids & Teens (ages 6-18 yrs)</span><u></u><u></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 10pt; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background: white;"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #5a5a5a;">Pre-Professional Program (ages 7-18 yrs, by audition only)</span></p>

TADA! Youth Theater

<div> <p dir="ltr"><strong>TADA! Youth Theater Summer Camps (July 10-August 25, 2023)</strong> Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! TADA! is excited to be back in person with our popular Week-long Musical Theater Summer Camps!  Every week your child will:</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <ul> <li>ENGAGE IN MUSICAL THEATER TRAINING</li> <li>CREATE, REHEARSE & PERFORM AN ORIGINAL MINI- MUSICAL</li> <li>EXPLORE THEIR INTERESTS AND IDENTITY</li> <li>SHARE THEIR VOICE AND BE HEARD</li> <li>RECEIVE INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION AND SOLO OPPORTUNITIES</li> <li>EXPERIENCE ENSEMBLE-BASED INSTRUCTION BY TWO PROFESSIONAL NYC TEACHING ARTISTS</li> <li>MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH NEW FRIENDS</li> </ul> On the last day of camp, we invite friends and family to attend the debut of your child’s original mini-musical!<br /> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr">Limited spots available! All of our classes take place in-person at 15 W. 28th Street (between Broadway & 5th) and culminate in a final sharing for an invited audience.  </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>For more info or to register for our Summer Camps, visit our website <a href="https://tadatheater.com/summercamps/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tadatheater.com/summercamps/&source=gmail&ust=1682524227382000&usg=AOvVaw1jPPuT0S0YVPJg0I1oXofv">HERE!</a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Looking for a sample class before registering?</strong> Join us Saturday, June 3rd for an in-person sample class, Q&A, and the best discount of the summer!  Registration required to attend! </p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>For more info. or to register for our Summer Open house, click <a href="https://tadatheater.com/open-house/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tadatheater.com/open-house/&source=gmail&ust=1682524227382000&usg=AOvVaw2CheiFLQooj66wqzmTeKCc">HERE!</a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>No child should be turned away because of their inability to pay. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="https://tadatheater.com/financial-assistance/" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://tadatheater.com/financial-assistance/&source=gmail&ust=1682524227382000&usg=AOvVaw1-oTxJlL31iv2yEG3kUDrj">Financial Assistance available. </a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>Questions?</strong></p> <div style="text-align: center;"><strong>Email us at <a href="mailto:[email protected]" target="_blank" rel="noopener">[email protected]</a></strong></div> </div> <div> <div dir="ltr" data-smartmail="gmail_signature"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center

<p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{">The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center offers year-round, community-based dance and music programming in a fully inclusive and nurturing environment, located in the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District. The School’s diverse and professional faculty provides progressive and non-competitive instruction with all of our classes accompanied by live music. Though we are a non-recital school, there are opportunities for students to perform and for parents to see their dancers in action.</span></p>