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Adventure Theatre Spot’s Birthday Party

By • Oct 9th, 2010 • Category: Reviews

It feels a little odd going to a children’s show without a child. But once the joyful music started and Spot and his friends appeared, it didn’t matter. The action of this hour-long production kept everyone’s attention, children and adults alike.

Spot’s Birthday Party celebrates the birthday party of Spot (John Robert Keena), a rambunctious puppy. Spot’s friends, Tom the crocodile (Joshua Dick), Helena the hippo (Mary Beth Luckenbaugh), and Steve the monkey (Kirstin Riegler) attend the party, along with Marco the magician (Danny Pushkin) and Spot’s parents (Matt Dewbwerry and Ayanna Hardy).

When you arrive at the theater, you are greeted by Hannah J. Crowell’s colorful set, a giant storybook that actually changes like pages througout the performance. Spot appears then hides, and the tone of the show is set as his parents search for Spot behind the many doors, and instead find Spot’s friends. What follows is Spot’s party, where he and his friends open his gifts and play with each one as it is unwrapped. The play-within-a-play of Cinderella was very nicely done, with each actor staying in character while playing yet another character.

The actors did a great job interacting with the kids in the audience, especially when an unexpected guest decided to come to the party. Unfortunately, Marco the magician’s tricks and jokes tended to fall a bit flat, as they were over the heads of the kids, and the adults really weren’t expecting anything, so they came as a surprise. The music (Aaron Broderick) was also very upbeat and cheerful, in several different styles. The dancing during Spot’s Big Band playing jazz was especially well received.

In sum, Spot’s Birthday Party is a party that you definitely want your name to be on the guest list.

Photo Gallery

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Photos provided by Adventure Theatre.

Cast

  • Sam (Spot’s Dad): Matt Dewbwerry
  • Tom the Crocodile: Joshua Dick
  • Sally (Spot’s mom): Ayanna Hardy
  • Spot: John Robert Keena
  • Helena the Hippo: Mary Beth Luckenbaugh
  • Marco the Magician: Danny Pushkin
  • Steve the Monkey: Kirstin Riegler

Crew

  • Director: Joe Banno
  • Music Director/Orchestrator: Aaron Broderick
  • Choreographer: Kurt Boehm
  • Magic Advisor: Barry Wood
  • Scene Designer: Hannah J. Crowell
  • Lighting Designer: Jason Aufdem-Brinke
  • Costume Designer: Katie Touart
  • Props Designer: Andrea “Dre” Moore
  • Puppet Designer/Movement Coach: Eric Brooks
  • Sound Designer: Brendon Vierra
  • Scenic Artist: Sasha Goldstein
  • Stage Manager: Melanie Shur
  • Assistant Stage Manager/Puppeteer: Julie Roedersheimer
  • Master Electriician: Sarah MacKowski

Disclaimer: Adventure Theatre provided a complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has performed in local productions, but prefers to be behind the scenes. Mike earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Online News Association.

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