Imagine being able to open a book, say, “I want to go there,” and being whisked away into whatever magical land you’re reading about. That’s exactly what happens to Jack and Annie in the Magic Treehouse series of books written by Mary Pope Osborne. This imaginative author has been delighting young audiences with her books for over 25 years. Not only are her stories a fun way for young readers to learn history and science, they also include mystery and action. Recently, her books have been adapted by Music Theater International into kid’s musical theater productions. The result is fun for the whole family.
This past weekend, the Historic Holly Theater in Dahlonega delighted audiences with their production of the Magic Treehouse: Pirates Past Noon. With a book by Jenny Laird, Music and Lyrics by Randy Courts, and additional lyrics by Mary Pope Osborne herself, this play was as fun and educational as her written works.
Director Heidi Rider, Choreographer Kaitlyn Gentry, and Music director Julia DeMello worked with a group of children for the last two weeks in the Holly Performance Academy to prepare for the show. The result was fun and well done!! This wasn’t your typical summer theater camp where the kids perform in t-shirts with a few props and a minimal set. Instead, this was a full production with an elaborate static set with several levels for the performers to work from, beautiful lighting, and eye-catching costumes.
The ensemble delivered an entertaining performance with delightful vocals and eye-catching choreography. Key-noteworthy performances include: Ian Johnson as Jack and Ashley Neff as Annie, for working well together playing brother and sister and belting out some beautiful harmonies; Phoebe Owens as the Seagull for her show-stopping vocals; Connor Green as Captain Bones for a wonderful singing voice far advanced for his age; Vespacian Jones as First Mate for narrating the story with clarity and charm; Colton Gilreath as Jonah for a convincing performance as pirate who wishes to learn to read; and Jack Goebel as Stinky and Elizabeth Reed as Blinky for their ability to light up the stage and stay in character throughout the production.
Next up at the Holly is the musical duo Banks and Shane on July 7th and Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame running from August 3rd-26th. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.hollytheater.com/.
–-Jody Key – Managing Editor
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