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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
a Musical Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (songs), Jeremy Sams (adaptation)

COMPANY : Lolek’s Storyteller’s Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
ID# 5296

SHOWING : June 29, 2018 - July 08, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" follows the eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts, and his two young children, Jeremy and Jemima, as they meet the beautiful Truly Scrumptious and go on an adventure with their flying family car in search of Grandpa Potts, who has been kidnapped by the villainous, Vulgarian Baron Bomburst.

Join us at Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square for this family-friendly show full of classic songs, lively dance numbers and memorable characters.


CAST & CREW LIST
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REVIEWS

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A Bang-Up Job
by playgoer
Sunday, July 8, 2018
3.5
When "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" played the Fox a few years ago, the Broadway tour production was a disappointment. It attempted to replicate the movie onstage, and its obvious theatrical trickery and reduced scale made the show seem like a pale (and over-loud) imitation. Lolek’s Storytellers’ production lets the audience’s imagination do much of the work of filling out the action, and so is much more successful at telling the story. We don’t have a handful of trained dogs crossing the stage to indicate mayhem; instead, we have no dogs at all, letting the cast’s reactions indicate mayhem.

The set/props design team has hit upon a neat concept for realizing all the many locations indicated in the script. Upstage center is a pair of large wooden doors, flanked on both sides by wood-paneled hidey holes below and scrim-covered areas above. A movable outhouse and various set pieces readily move on and off the downstage playing space. Lighting helps delineate the various locations. Extensive costumes, managed by Angie Hagen, and Therese Dickinson’s makeup add to the visual appeal of the production.

In audio terms, the show is less successful. There are no stellar voices in the cast, although nearly everyone handles the vocal demands of their role(s) with aplomb, and everyone sings in character. Amplification is used, and sometimes the musical backing tracks are louder than voices, particularly when music underscores dialogue. Very nice transitions occur, however, when one piece of music gives way to another.

Dani Dickinson has directed the show to keep the flow of action moving, and the choreographers (Ms. Dickinson, along with assistant director Erika Fasselt, and actress Rachel Fasselt) have added tons of entertaining movement. This is a smoothly flowing production, with deftly etched characters throughout.

Daniel Ware plays the lead role of Caractacus Potts, and he is a handsome and charming hero with a look reminiscent of Will Forte. His voice is pleasant and his dancing skills are just up to the demands of the choreography. Erika Szatmary, as his love interest Truly Scrumptious, has an appealing presence too. His children Jeremy and Jemima (Hector Rolan and Addy C. at the performance I attended) are also engaging, and Ms. Addy C. has a powerful voice and cheery presence that delight. Youngster John Paul Dickinson does a fine job as Grandpa Potts, although his heavy muttonchops and mustache hide his lips in some dialogue. These "good" characters all come across as suitably good-hearted.

The villains tend to be even more fun. John Brooks brings tons of energy to Baron Bomburst, and Haley Hartl matches his energy as the Baroness, adding what is probably the best singing (and wigs) in the cast. Samuel Ginn does a nice job as spy Boris, and Rachel Fasselt is an absolute delight as his sidekick Goran (and as a few assorted ensemble/dance characters). The ensemble come across well, with one standout being Alex Fasselt as the devilish Child Catcher. Erika Fasselt, of the talented Fasselt clan, also impresses as a dancer.

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" is a beloved movie that was fashioned into a less-than-stellar Broadway musical. In the Lalek’s Storytellers production, though, the story and songs come through strong, with a special charm that will delight children and adults alike. It’s a lot of fun, and the special effect of a flying automobile at the end of the first act is perfectly in scale with the production, using inventiveness and limited technical capabilities to suggest what the audience’s imagination will complete. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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