A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
a Musical
by Jules Tasca, with lyrics by Ted Drachman and music by Thomas Tierney

COMPANY : Cobb Playhouse and Studio [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Cobb Playhouse and Studio [WEBSITE]
ID# 1647

SHOWING : August 04, 2006 - August 26, 2006



Directed by Cobb's most important and talented director today, John Christian, this musical based on "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C. S. Lewis depicts four precocious schoolchildren, several mythical creatures, a witch and a heroic lion in a struggle between good and evil.

Cobb Playhouse and Studio
4857 N Main Street, Acworth
770-565-3995 Prices: $12 - $16
Times: Friday and Saturday @ 8:00 PM

Director John Christian
Stage Manager Jennifer Christian
Susan, cast A Jessica Ainsley
Dwarf Tianna Attride
Father Christmas David Attride
Lucy Pevensie (B) Kalen Banks
Lucy, cast B Kalen Banks
Dwarf isabel Blessing
Mrs. Beaver, cast A Becky Dever
Edmund Pevensie (A) Caleb Dever
Edmund, cast A Caleb Dever
Dwarf Kaitlyn Edge
Edmund, cast C Haden Farr
Lucy, cast C Zelli Gavulic
Mr. Beaver Craig Jones
Edmund Pevensie (B) Aaron Jones
Edmund, cast B Aaron Jones
Mrs. McCready, cast A & B Christine Kikuchi
Susan, cast B Savanah Lowery
Lucy Pevensie Katie Major
Lucy, cast A Katie Major
Aslan Bill Mann
Professor Bill Mann
White witch, cast B Mary Beth Martin
Cast Karen S. Martin
Peter, cast B Jay Martin
Mrs. Beaver, cast B Becca Mattox
Peter, cast A Justin Murray
Peter Pevensie (A) Justin Murray
Fox, Cast B Korri Elexus Palmer
Fenris Ulf Melissa Royal
White Witch, cast A Julie Senger
Dwarf Taylor Steinmetz
Tumnus Amanda Whittle
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Disappointing step backwards
by sui generis
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
I debated whether to post a review of this show or not. When done right, 'Narnia' is a really good musical. And I have enjoyed some other shows at Cobb this year, especially as 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Tom Sawyer'. My dilemma is that my opinion about this show differs so much from some of the other reviews that I felt as if I should write what I think. So here goes my first review!

To me, this 'Narnia' was a mostly bad show. Its pace was slow and choppy, most surprising as the theater's highly touted Artistic Director directed the show himself. Perhaps it was the cast's fault and not the Director's. With a few exceptions, little energy from the cast was evident the night I attended, making the evening needlessly drag on and on and on.

The production qualities were specifically poor. The set was inconsistent and appeared to be slapped together at the last minute. The costumes were not credible for the material and, especially in the case of Aslan's robe, took away my ability to focus on the story.

Some of the performers made 'Narnia' almost redeemable. The White Witch gave a superb performance and I most certainly will come see her again. Aslan gave a tender, dignified performance and showed off his terrific voice. Mr. Beaver was way too over-the-top, enjoyable on occasion but distracting almost always. But he was saved by a terrific Mrs. Beaver, a spunky little firecracker of a woman who gave some much needed energy.

Even so, on balance the acting and singing was below my expectation. I had a very difficult time hearing most of the actors, especially the children. And although there were a few good voices, overall most everyone sang off-key and out of tune. And believe it or not, the singing was better than the acting.

So this, mixed with the sluggish pace and poor technical qualities, made for a long, tedious evening. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Sui Generis (One of a Kind) by Cavendish
Yes, I studied Latin. As for me, I'm glad you offered your review. Right, wrong, or otherwise, it's a nice change of pace from the teenage cheerleader reviewers of late.
Out With A Bang!
by Armyowl
Monday, September 4, 2006
I went and saw it the last night it played, but with all of the people, it was kinda hard to enjoy it. Peter (Jay Martin) was extremly good, but he smiled on every line, which is a bad thing in this case. Susan & Lucy have amazing voices, and should keep on singing! The Beavers were my favorite. Hats off to Craig and Becca! I have to admit, Aslan (Bill Mann) was kinda corny. He's a good singer, but his costume was over the top. Edmund, was good, and the White Witches costume was awesome. The music was good, and I liked the play a lot! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Narnia at The Cobb Playhouse was a very enjoyable evening!
by Keep It In Perspective
Monday, August 28, 2006
I truly enjoyed seeing Narnia the The Cobb Playhouse. I think some of the strongest performances were MaryBeth Martin (the White Witch), Aaron Jones (Edmund), and Becca Mattox and Craig Jones (Mrs. and Mr. Beaver - great chemistry!) These are not professional actors, they are kids in school, college students juggling rehearsals with school schedules, and parents, and I think the entire cast's commitment, positive attitude and hard work are to be commended. The music was amazing, performed by Morgie Peach (sp.?), who jumped in 2 weeks before Opening Night and took over like she had been there from the start. And finally, the lighting, which flowed without a hitch, was done by a talented 14-year old, Haden Banks. Keeping in mind the age and experience of a lot of these performers, I couldn't have asked for a better show!

Considering this is a non-profit theater, you have to appreciate the fact that Director John Christian continues to pull off so many successful productions. Not having funds to hire experienced staff, or really any staff at all, he finds, trains and manages students and parents to help in all areas of the theater, and what he doesn't have volunteers for he does himself.

I look forward to more presentations at this theater!
Any staff at all? by gwavar
Kind words for the show are appreciated, but as one who has been working here full time (really overtime) for seven years I must offer this friendly amendment to the comment shown in my title. And we have other part-time staffers, too. But yes, we depend to a huge degree on volunteer performers, stagehands, ushers and Lord high (middle and low) everything else -- grateful thanks to them all. And John is doing about nine jobs at any time.
To the Staff! by Keep It In Perspective
As an amendment to my original review, I was not referring to the few long-time staffers of the Playhouse when I commented on the acting, music and set of Narnia (which is what I thought this forum was intended for). I was under the impression that the theater staff handled drama classes, summer and after school programs, and even administrative, of which I have only heard words of praise. I was, however, complimenting those who I thought were responsible for the weeks of preparation and weeks of performances of Narnia. No offense intended.
Good for a non-profit by FromMyEyes
I am offended by this comment. Most theatres are non profit, including The Alliance. Yes, I agree limited funds should be taken into consideration for any show. However, the quality of acting and overall production can still be steller. I have not seen this show, but when someone says "well take into consideration thy are non profit" that is weak excuse. many low budget movies and plays are fantastic, with no excuses needed. FYI-even most broadway theatre companies are non profit. I know Roundabout, who produced Cabaret and Assasins is.
yes frommyeyes yes by feather
oh i so totally AGREE with you sir. this idea that cobbplayhouse deserves a handicap and excuse is sooooo wrong. except for bill mann and the beavers the acting and singing in nardia is soooo poor, the costumes are soooo disasterous, the set is such a joke and the direction is sooo pizz poor with pacing and timing problems agalore. lately i have seen great theatre just as far from the city as cobbplayhouse whoi are nonproftit. and they struggle with money just like everybody else. i dont think they even have [eople working there on salry.
feather by mark
for once I agree with you. Good call.
Non profit by thespisATL
Being non profit has NOTHING to do with the quality of shows. Its a status with the IRS. The IRS controls a lot but as far as I know, it does not tell you to reuse old flats and do general washes with lights.
Narnia was great
by grrl
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Wow, I loved Narnia. Jessica Ainsley was amazing, both acting and singing she did incredibly! The beavers were great. Kallie Dever was so cute in the creature chorus! Also mr. tumnus (Amanda Whittle) was so perfect. Aslan was a great singer too. So good job everyone. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
thank god for bill mann
by feather
Monday, August 21, 2006
the tickt guy was nice this time but the show was worse than my last cobbplayouse vist. i didnt like this show too much cause it was akward and didnt fit the philosofy of the book i have read many times. the highlihgt is bill mann as the lion asalon. what a good precense and fab voice. nice job mr mand, nice job. the beavers were goood too but tahts it. the rest of the cast is embarssing to watch. the children need better direcion and are akward in this. the other actors dont fit well etiher. not fit for the sotry. and the scenes dont fit toghter nicely and run more like a bunch of odd one act plays than a signle story. the music is also awkward, saved only by the b ill mann and the beavers. too bad so sad. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Thank God for who? by Is this thing on?
I'm not sure which show you attended, but I have also been to this show (8/19, 8 pm show) and while I agree that Mr. Mann can sing, he couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag. As for the children, I was able to keep in mind that this is "community theatre" and that they are not professional actors. Although, I did think that both Savannah Lowry (Susan) and Kalen Banks (Lucy)both sang well. I also agree that the beavers were fun to watch, but at times over-acted a little. I just chalked that up to trying to draw the kids in the audience into the show. I didn't find this play or the remainder of its actors awkward or embarrassing, and I felt that it did remain true to the plot of the story. If you were comparing it to the recent film, of course it would seem scarce due to time constraints and the lack of a multi-million dollar budget. Otherwise, I thought that I got what I payed for: a cute community theatre production with a few stand out segments.
hey thing by feather
to me bill mann is the onlgy reason to see this narnia. ok we can differ. this is my opinon. youse has yours. i has mine. but can i respond on one thign? when has community theater become an excuse for medocraty? sorry for my spelling. i wish there was a spell checker on this site. medocracy is it? anyway, my point is how is it a cute communtiy theater show is an excuse for below average theatr? ive seen many community shows that have been great. and ive seen may profesional shows that bit the big one. to mes theres no handicap for poor directing and akward singing even if their are some standout moments.
response to "mediocrity" by Is this thing on?
Having checked Cobb Playhouse's website before attending the show, I noticed that in their audition section it states "no experience required." To me, this means that this theatre is a jumping off point for people who want to try their hand at acting/singing, possibly for the very first time. So, based on this, I do not think that this show was mediocre if it was put on by performers who've either been in very few plays or never any play at all.
Re: Response to Mediocrity by Cavendish
Bravo Is This Thing On. You are correct. Cobb is a "beginners" venue and thank God it is. I've kept up with the progression of this sometimes humble little theater over the years. It is clear they have provided a wonderful opportunity for literally hundreds of kids and dozens of adults to start the process of learning the ins and outs of community theater. By definition it is a non profit community theater, but in reality it is a theater incubator. It provides opportunities the more established theaters do not. Some of their shows have been downright painful to watch, sure, but some have been right up there with the best of amatuer productions.

There are those who say Cobb's production quality has gone down since it's move to Acworth. Well, duh! A new theater in a new town has something to do with it. Being on the outer limits of the metro area does too. To those who criticise I say do not compare all community theaters with the same standards. Compare their shows with those they've done in the past. True improvement begins at home.
help me cavendish by feather
i still cant undersand why a handicap should be given to cobbplayhouse because they are beginners or are in akworth. im a styudent but know good theatre and bad thaeatre when i see it. and you say cobbplayhouse has had great shows (whio? when?> where?) so if they can do that why be sooooo politicaly correct and give em easy reviews when they have poor shows. and reading the bios from the program not all are beginerrs. bill mann who was great has lots of expereince.
Re: Help by Cavendish
Handicap? P.C? Easy reviews? I said nothing of the sort. Perhaps I didn't say it clearly. I'm just suggesting that a reviewer would be wise, imo, to include in their review some consideration for the type of theater producing the show and it's history. When I go to OnStage or Aurora I go in expecting an above average show because of their long history of producing good shows (although they do fail from time to time, as do all theaters). You, Feather, have done this on several occasions when you've mentioned how your experience was better or worse compared to a previous visit. I applaud you doing so (spelling and sarcasm not withstanding).

Yes, you do know good and bad theater when you see it. We all do. And this is one reason why this site exists. If it could all be broken down to a mathematical formula there would be no need for reviewers or scoring.

As for Cobb's good shows over the years I choose to refrain from answering, but there have been more than a handful. It's not my intent to stir up a hornets nest. Again, we all have different opinions. Most of their shows, from what I can see, have a mixture of experienced and new people. It can make for an uneven performance, but so can an inexperienced or incompetant director, technicians, and musicians. As for Bill Mann, I would surmise he was chosen for his voice with his acting ability being secondary. This is not unusual in a musical, even in a pro theater, since the music is paramount in a musical.

Finally, this is the end of the thread for me unless someone wishes to continue it in the Rants and Raves section.
Correction by Cavendish
Make that the Anything Goes section.

by blablabla
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I had the pleasure of seeing this production on Friday, August 11, and was very surprised by what I saw.
My experience at the Cobb Playhouse has been mixed. I have see shows that were wonderful to shows that should not have ever opened.
This show was very well done. Most of the actors on stage were wonderful, while some probably shouldn't be doing musicals.
A few actors that really stood out to me were Mary Beth Martin as the White Witch, Craig Allan Jones as Mr. Beaver, and Savannah Lowery as Susan. Mary Beth and Savannah both have wonderful singing voices. It was a pleasure to listen to them. Craig Jones, although lacks in singing ability, has wonderful stage presence. To be honest, I found myself watching him on the side just reacting to what was going on in the main scene. Mr and Mrs Beaver(Rebecca Mattox) were funny and fun to watch. But it was Mr Beaver who stole the show.
There were also actors who stood out, not because of there acting and singing ability, but for their lack of. Peter(Jay Martin) I felt couldn't sing. It seemed that he talked through a lot of his solos when the other children were singing theirs. Tumnus(Amanda Whittle) to be honest, sounded like a goat when she sang. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but it did seem like the song was to high for her.
There were also one costume that when I saw I didn't understand. Bill Mann did a wonderful job with the role of Aslan, but his costume did not look like a lion at all. He wore a wig that looked nothing like a mane and his robe was made of ripped up material.
So other than the normal things that happen during a show with children in it, such as dropping character, moving when you are supposed to be frozen, and talking during scene changes, I was very surprised at how well the show turned out. I would recommend this show to anyone. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Thanks for the kind words. by Bill Mann
The thing that john and I both wanted was to make sure that Aslan didn't look like just got off the train from Oz. Other than that John and I agreed on little. The costume was and is my doing alone. We tried many things but none were satisfactory to both of us so since I had to wear the costume it was my call. I felt thatall things considered the abstract would suit our needs best. I knew that some wouldn't like it but that's the way it always is. Be it good or be it bad I am the one to blame, but thanks to all for the kind words and for coming to see the show.
Bill Mann
by gwavar
Saturday, August 5, 2006
This is a note, not a review. John Christian disowns that line in the production description that calls him "Cobb's most important and talented director," which he did not write or approve (or believe) and which he has requested the web site managers to delete. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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