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Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Allison Gregory

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory [WEBSITE]
ID# 5389

SHOWING : October 27, 2018 - April 27, 2019

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Someone took Junie B.’s new black furry mittens, and they didn’t even put them in the Lost and Found! The new boy in school thinks Junie B. is a nutball just becuase she was laughing at recess! Junie B. is on a mission to prove she’s not a nutball, avenge her black furry mittens, and maybe get a great new colorful pen, too.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Michael Vine
Jim/Principal/Grandpa Jacob Jones
Lucille Amy L. Levin
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REVIEWS

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Junie B. Jones Is a Nutball
by playgoer
Sunday, November 18, 2018
1.0
Junie B. Jones (Dayanari Umaña) is an obnoxious, hyperactive, untruthful kindergartner. She and her friends Lucille (Amy L. Levin) and Grace (Alex Renée Hubbard) are obsessed with their appearance and with boys, particularly new student Handsome Warren (Christopher Holton). Their world is also inhabited by the school’s teacher (Chris E. Ciulla) and principal (Jacob Jones), who also double as fellow kindergartners. It takes half an hour until we get to the point of Junie being accused of being a crook, then another half hour to get things resolved. Let me quote Junie: "Watch me go to sleep."

Stephanie Polhemus’ scenic design includes a colorful arrangement of fabric squares on a metal framework stage left and a projection screen stage right, on which Preston Goodson’s projections are displayed at various points. Industrial-looking small scaffolding and colorful stools are used for furniture. It looks cluttered. The projections, though, are good, if a bit washed-out under the general lighting in the theater. They are very nicely synchronized with the onstage action.

Costumes, by Erin Smith, are fairly extensive, as are Megan Noelle’s props, but they don’t always read well in a large auditorium. The show begins with action timed to a song soundtrack, in which the cast remove items from a prop chest and mime activity that seems intended to convey what has gone on before the play proper starts. It’s long and confusing. Maybe it makes sense if you’ve read the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park; it doesn’t otherwise. The sound design plays distracting background music at various points.

The script is lame and is inhabited with unlikable characters, and director Michael hasn’t made the production rise above the material. When silence resounds after supposed laugh lines, it’s obvious that the production isn’t doing its job. Performances are energetic, but none catch fire. It’s all a tedious exercise in profiting off of a successful book, much as is the case with GET’s mainstage show, "I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti." But all this one does is leave a bad taste in the mouth. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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