SHOWING : January 07, 2006 - February 19, 2006
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Young Miss Sara Crew is sent to Miss Minchin's boarding school while her father goes off to increase his fortune. She quickly learns that her father has died and she has lost everything. She shows us that it isn't how much you have that is important, it's how you treat others.
[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]
In Today's World, Is Cute Such A Bad Thing?|
Tuesday, February 7, 2006 ||
I do not feel it is fair to judge or compare children’s theatre to “main stage” theatre. In my humble opinion, children’s theatre has additional burdens. Children’s theatre showcases and develops budding young talent. It also provides an opportunity for parents, relatives and friends to appreciate a child’s talent (or simply acknowledge a child’s efforts in the absence of talent). One of its most important functions is to expose young people, both on stage and in the audience, to the magic, wonder and enjoyment of theatre! Don’t get me wrong, they still owe the audience a good show, but that must be tempered with meeting its other obligations.|
Children’s shows frequently have to deal with very limited resources or must survive on the leftovers from the main stage productions. The best children’s productions learn how to make “lemonade” from the “lemons” they are frequently given. By focusing on its strengths and minimizing its weaknesses, “A Little Princess” has done just that! Here is WHAT WAS GOOD and WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER…
WHAT WAS GOOD: The director’s intelligence was evident in that no actor was directed to do anything that was beyond the scope of their abilities. Each and every actor on stage projected true confidence, total calmness and projected their joy in acting! A song (not original to the script) was added to showcase Stacy Serowitz’s impressive vocal talent. Was the song out of sync with the storyline or style of the show? Maybe a little, but it was worth it to hear her beautiful voice and experience her talent! Allowing the kids to be what they are naturally, young, talented and cute was the smartest thing any director could do for them, and the audience.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Actors were sometimes blocked too far apart to generate the appropriate emotion in some scenes, or delivered dialogue out of the frame of the lighting. The actor’s use of their hands was infrequent and seemed to be occur only when they remembered some direction they had been given.
WHAT WAS GOOD: This show does not have a set. It uses a very limited number of set pieces to define the locales for the dialogue. The entire show takes place in front of the curtain because the main stage show’s set occupies the vast majority of the area behind the curtain. That imposes some serious limitations for the director and the cast when it comes to blocking, entrances and exits. “Princess” makes very efficient use of what little real estate they have to work with. Since they can't go "deep", they must often go "wide".(Sorry, I saw the show on Super Bowl Sunday and I just couldn't pass up using at least one football metaphor).
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: A real set or at least more creative use of lighting and visual cues to give a better illusion or illustration of place
WHAT WAS GOOD: It’s a morality tale about how "what goes around, comes around". A “be nice to those you meet on the way up, because you meet they same people on the way down” kind of tale. It is cute and heartwarming.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: If you go to children’s theatre expecting a believable story, you need to get out more.
WHAT WAS GOOD: The songs featured some of the best young voices heard at Kudzu in a long time! The best singers were great, and even the weakest singers were still very good! The music was written to reinforce the period of the storyline and compliment the age of the actors, which it did very well.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: The keys for some of the songs were at the far end of some of the singers ranges. The instrumentation of the music tracks frequently sounded a little too “synthesized” which detracted from their period authenticity. Even after seeing the show twice,with the exception of “She’s Such a Little Princess”, there weren’t any truly memorable songs that remained in my head after the show.
Anastasia Bandemir as Sara Crewe:
WHAT WAS GOOD: Anastasia gave a very balanced and effective performance. Her voice was strong and her singing was excellent. No problem at all understanding why others might perceive her as a princess, she radiates!
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Occasionally delivered her lines too fast. Her character is introduced as being a 12-year-old, but her wardrobe accentuated her maturity, instead of being more in harmony with her character’s description. In one scene in particular, her truly impressive talent was upstaged by her even more impressive footwear!
Olivia Harlow as Miss Amelia:
WHAT WAS GOOD: Olivia did a truly wonderful job portraying the subservient sister. She projected her character’s shyness and eventual determination with great skill and understanding.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Her song at the beginning of the second act, while good, could have been stronger.
Haley Goldman as Emengarde:
WHAT WAS GOOD: How could anyone turn down the friendship of anyone as sweet as Emergarde? Haley’s portrayal of the little girl who wants to be a true friend was filled with sincerity and truth. Way to go Haley!
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Needs to work on her vocal projection. Occasionally spoke into the floor which made her difficult to hear.
Kimberly Maxwell as Becky:
WHAT WAS GOOD: Wow! I wish I could do an accent as good as this kid! Kimberly’s portrayal of her character was outstanding! Her voice was strong and clear and her stage presence was very impressive! I might add that’s a hard thing to do in a cast this talented.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Needs to be more aware of her arms and hands; there was a preponderance of swaying to her movements.
Constance Owl as Lotte:
WHAT WAS GOOD: Is this girl cute or what?! Constance was cast as the little girl who couldn’t - but was determined to keep trying anyway! Her dance scene was wonderful and she never overplayed the “cute” card by coming on too strong or by using tired clichés.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Could be taller!(probably will be some day)
Abigail McCracken as Mouse/Monkey:
WHAT WAS GOOD: Assigning acting duties to the very young Abigail McCracken for the Mouse and the Monkey really made the show for me! She single handedly (no pun intended) created some of the most memorable moments in the show! I guess I am just a sucker for cuteness!
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Maybe a speaking part next time?
Amy McCracken and Harold Henry:
WHAT WAS GOOD: These were the only adults in the show and they did an absolutely wonderful job of supporting the kids. In fact I think they may have toned down their “chops” somewhat on purpose to allow others to shine! I would love to be a part of any show with actors like these!
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: I felt that Amy’s character wasn’t “wicked” enough, but a youngster on my isle apparently disagreed by announcing to her parents during the show, “I don’t like her very much” after Amy appeared on stage. I guess I could be wrong…
Nicole Bennett, Courtney Bowers, Daniel McCracken, Stacy Serowitz, Kellie Ramdhanie, Keisha Ramdhanie, Kimberly Maxwell, Rebecca Katz and Laura Henry
WHAT WAS GOOD: I wish I could single out each actor one-by-one, but in truth they all did a totally great job of being a supporting cast! There was no hamming it up or attempting to steal attention away from any of the other actors during their scenes. These guys were absolute pros in both their acting and their approach to their duties as part of the production. They made the show great by being generous with their talent and kind with their support of their fellow actors.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Bigger parts for everyone next time!
“ A Little Princess” was a good show due primarily to the strength of the talent of its cast and the willingness of its director to allow that talent to shine through – even if it wasn’t totally appropriate to the story line. In children’s theatre, I think the audience both expects, and deserves that! Go see this show! The talent makes the trip very worthwhile!
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| || Thank you by tylers|
On behalf of the entire cast and crew of "LP" I would like to thank you for a through and well written review.
| || Maybe not scary enough, but... by mom2actor|
| Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough review. Although I could play "Ms. M." a couple of notches "meaner & nastier" (my kids and our director would tell you I definitely can!), I had a parent tell me last week that her daughter no longer wants to come to the school Media Center where I work because she's now terrified of me...And another student told me today that he's glad he knows I'm not really evil because he thought I was really "creepy" during the show this weekend. I've tried to balance the desire to play Minchin "full throttle" with the need to be a part of the ensemble. |
Thanks again for the review.
| || Ms. M by tylers|
| The comment made by my dear friend Amy that she could be meanier or crazier is, in my opinion, the understatement of the century.|
Love to you Amy!!!
Now that's a good children's show!|
Sunday, January 8, 2006 ||
The best thing about youth performers is a freshness and openness that audiences truly enjoy because it looks like the kids are having a good time and that's what community theater for kids is suppose to be about.|
Having recently been in an audience for a holiday staple I was starting to loose faith in community theater. Thanks Kudzu for revitalizing that. You know a simple set gave the stage to the actors and the actors came thru and what was best is that unlike some of the adult actors in other kid's show I saw no adult tried to upstage the kids and everyone had a good time. Kudos! this show was worth the drive otp. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]
by David Shire (music), Richard Maltby, Jr. (lyrics)