Adventure Theatre The New Musical Adventures of Flat StanleyBy Laura & Mike Clark • Feb 25th, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo, MD
Through April 6th
Reviewed February 21, 2010
The New Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley is based on the popular children’s series by Jeff Brown. Book and lyrics by Timothy A. McDonald. Music by Timothy A. McDonald, David Weinstein, Jonathan K. Waller & Stephen Gabriel. Illustrations by Scott Nash. The bulletin board on the wall above Stanley Lambchop’s bed comes loose and falls. Right on top of Stanley! The next morning, he wakes up flat…really, really flat. He can slide under locked doors, roll up like a mat, become a trampoline and even put himself in a big envelope and travel around the world from Washington, DC to France to Honolulu and beyond.
This hour long children’s show was a joy to watch. It was nice to end the weekend on an upbeat, happy note. Despite a slightly scary moment when the bulletin board “fell” on Stanley, the children in the audience were entertained and enjoying themselves.
The entire cast did a fabulous job of keeping the energy up. Flat Stanley, played by Ryan Manning, did a wonderfully of keeping the dancing and singing at a good pace. Even though he looked like he lost about 10 lbs of body weight from the costuming (which was really bright and colorful, designed by Kendra Rai). Manning’s upbeat personality was fun to watch. Arthur Lambchop, Flat Stanley’s younger was played by Michael Grew. He was fun to watch when he asked the kids to help him find something and then played to the audience when the kids told him where to look.
Mr. Lambchop (David Frankenberger, Jr.) and Mrs. Lambchop (Katie Brobst) will remind older audience members of times when parents were simpler (could I say one-dimensional?), such as Ward and June Cleaver. But for a children’s show, they were perfect, even down to the details of not liking the brothers playing after bedtime. Mrs. Cartero was played by Jade Wheeler. Wheeler had some great dance moves that she did well. She and all of the actors projected nicely so that they could be heard over the music.
The set was very bright and colorful. Almost everything was oversized to stand out. The Scenic Designer was Joe Musumeci. The stage area was nice and big which allowed for easy exits from two aisles. There were also hidden entrances and special effects used throughout the stage. The costume changes were quick, but were masked by something always happening to keep the audience’s attention. There were also some neat lighting effects that impressed the adult audience members. The Light Designer was Jason Aufdem-Brinke.
Come enjoy a fun musical and then go visit the library to get the books and enjoy reading with your kids.
Photos by Bruce Douglas for the Adventure Theatre.
- Mrs. Lambchop: Katie Probst
- Mr. Lambchop: David Frankenberger, Jr.
- Arthur: Michael Grew
- Flat Stanley: Ryan Manning
- Mrs. Cartero (et. al): Jade Wheeler
- Director: Nick Olcott
- Musical Director: Derek Bowley
- Choreographer: Michael J. Bobbitt
- Scenic Designer: Joe Musumeci
- Costume Designer: Kendra Rai
- Lighting Designer: Jason Aufdem-Brinke
- Sound Designer: Neil McFadden
- Properties Designer: Dre Moore
- Master Electrician: Sarah MacKowski
- Stage Manager: Melanie Shur
- Scenic Artist: Sasha Goldstein
- Assistant Stage Manager: Julie Roedersheimer
- Assistant Stage Manager: Camile Hill
Disclaimer: Adventure Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/4745.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.