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Adventure Theatre Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

By • Mar 21st, 2012 • Category: Reviews

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a musical based on the children’s book by Judith Viorst. Alexander has just had the probably the worst day of his life. Everything that could go wrong did. And when you are eight the thought that there is a tomorrow and things can get better just isn’t in the picture.

Overall the cast of nine performed with enthusiasm and an eagerness to keep a younger audience entertained. And they were successful! The kids’ attenton waned a bit as we were being introduced to the characters of the show. But when Alexander started out his day with a bit of slapstick (falling out of his bed and tripping on his toys), the audience perked right up. The laughter and smiles continued as the action continued to Alexander’s tribulations at school, recess, the dentist’s chair, and his father’s office.

Parker Drown as Alexander kept the audience engaged by having them repeat the Alexander mantra “It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” several times. And by the end of the show, we all knew the correct phrasing of the description of Alexander’s day. All of the cast had fairly good energy although there were a few times when the story seemed to drag somewhat. Alexander’s brothers Philip (played by Kristen Garaffo) and Andrew (S. Lewis Feemster) had positive emotions and was able to remain engaged even when not the center of attention, plus they absolutely pegged how a bigger brother treats their younger brother, especially when Mom isn’t looking. Sandy Bainum was entertaining as she played both Alexander’s mother and his teacher, Mrs. Dickens. Bainum kept both characters separate and managed to make herself believable both times. She was a frazzled mother and a bit of the haggard teacher trying to coral a classroom of energetic students.

The bright set pieces against the wall made an excellent climbing ladder and also a unique elevator. Scenic Designer Douglas Clarke kept all the props bright and fluid. The chairs used for the classroom and the breakfast table moved on and around easily. There was a bit of tittering from the audience when Alexander’s brothers called him a “tushie-head” after being told not to say the word “butt.” And Alexander’s song about his baby sister might be seen as a touch violent. but I’d guess that most of the song’s lyrics will go over the heads of the younger audience members.

Lights, color, music and songs that young children will enjoy with a message for grown-ups that tomorrow is another day made for a fun show.


  • Mother/Mrs. Dickens: Sandy Bainum
  • Alexander: Parker Drown
  • Nick/Albert: S. Lewis Feemster
  • Audrey/Philip: Kristen Garaffo
  • US: Alexander/Ensemble 1: Benjamin Gibson
  • US:Ensemble 2, 3/Mother: Erika Grob
  • Father/Dentist/Shoe Salesman: Benjamin L. Horen
  • Anthony/Becky/Dance Captain: Ashleigh King
  • Paul: Ben Lurye

Production Crew

  • Director: Dr. Gail Humphfries Mardirosian
  • Musical Director: Joshua Morgan
  • Choreographer: Kate Arnold Wernick
  • Scenic Designer: Douglas Clarke
  • Costume Designer: Adriana Diaz
  • Lighting Designer: Andrew Cissna
  • Sound Designer: Brandon Roe
  • Properties Designer: Andrea “Dre” Moore
  • Mime Consultant: Mark Jaster
  • Stage Manager: Mallory Shear
  • Asst. Stage Manager: Julie Roedersheimer
  • Scenic Artist: Sasha Goldstein
  • Master Electrician: Sarah MacKowski

Disclaimer: Adventure Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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