Is there anything so pure as the friendship between the Bay Area’s Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal? From Youth Speaks poetry slams to mixtapes to critically acclaimed feature films, Diggs and Casal have been creating together for over two decades. And with the duo recently slated to adapt their ode to Oakland, the film Blindspotting, into a spinoff series for STARZ, the friends and creative partners are likely busy. Still, it's no surprise that they've found time to come to the aid of one of their childhood hangouts, Children’s Fairyland in Oakland.
An elaborate world of fairytales come to life, Children’s Fairyland invites close encounters. Meandering through the meticulously-crafted storybook sets originally created by architect William Russell Everitt, children get a chance to live out their fairytale fantasies, whether by gamboling through the "Alice in Wonderland" card maze, careening down the dragon slide, communing with a menagerie of whimsical creatures, or clambering aboard the Jolly Trolly. It’s even said that the place influenced the creation of Disneyland, and that beloved puppet master Frank Oz got his start in show business as a member of Fairyland’s Vagabond Puppet theatre.
But after several rounds of pandemic layoffs, Children’s Fairyland is facing the possibility of permanent closure. So to celebrate the park's 70-year anniversary, Diggs and Casal will host a “celebrity storytime” Sept. 26 to raise funds for the charming institution. The virtual event is free to attend, with a handy donation link available for folks who want to contribute. Either way, watching the creators of the playful 2014 web series “Hobbes and Me” tell stories — with the help of some puppet co-hosts — will be a sweet balm for even the most jaded of hearts.
Celebrity Storytime streams Saturday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets and details here.