Adventure Theatre MTC Goodnight MoonBy Michelle James • Sep 25th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Adventure Theatre MTC: (Info) (Web)
Adventure Theatre MTC at Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD
Through October 27th
Reviewed September 22nd, 2013
How do you turn a 130-word book into a 60 minute theatrical production? Well, the folks at Adventure Theatre Musical Theater Center (ATMTC) have skillfully pulled this off in their current production of Goodnight Moon. The play is sprinkled with singing and dancing and the choreography by Michael Bobbitt is very imaginative. The creative cast of five (be aware the cast has two different casts in rotation), most of whom perform dual roles, have turned an age-old children’s classic into a stage production that is both suitable for all, and from the audiences’ warm response, was loved by all.
The set, designed by Deborah Wheatley, was visually rewarding and reminiscent of the book. The great green room was filled with its time-worn contents. There were some noteworthy additions namely a raincoat, rain boots, a headboard with a moon and stars, and to make the set feel more homey, the underside of the bunny’s bed was teeming with stuffed animals.
The main cast includes: the delightful bunny (Colin Cech and Jake Foster), the old lady who says hush (Anissa Hartline), and the mouse (Maya Brettel). Before the play started my eight-year-old wondered aloud “are they going to have cats in the play?” Her question was answered early on. The role of the kittens’ were played by the old lady’s inanimate cat slippers. Rounding out the cast are Dorena Schmidt as the cat who plays a mean fiddle, and Samuel Edgerly as a colorful, creative, tooth fairy, who recycles teeth.
The story takes place from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. and the audience is welcomed inside the great green room for a fun-filled zany hour. The audience is given cues as to the passage of time throughout the hour. The story opens as the old lady who says hush puts the bunny and the mouse to bed. They sing a lively goodnight song. The old lady states the familiar adage “sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite,” as she tucks in the bunny and the mouse. The audience squealed with apparent disgust. The bunny, not yet ready to go to bed, asks for a glass of water, and then feigns death as a result of thirst. It is apparent by the peals of laughter that rippled through the audience, that they found the bunny’s antics amusing, if not familiar.
The frolicking begins when the old lady leaves the room, presumably to get the bunny a glass of water. The bunny begins to play with his toys when the two pictures in the room come to life. The first picture is of a cow jumping over the moon, and the second is of the Three Little Bears.
The cow, named Clarabelle, begins to moo, and a rag-tag group of characters from the “Hey Diddle Diddle” nursery rhyme enter the room. There’s a cat with a fiddle, a little dog, and a girl with a spoon. The group breaks out into song and dance. They begin to encourage a reticent Clarabelle to jump over the moon.
The Three Little Bears leave their picture frame and rush to the stage. These aren’t your average bears. They are musical bears that sing, tap dance and play musical chairs in a most entertaining way. The bears also assist the bunny in some tooth pulling that ushers in the entrance of Lawrence (“you can call me Larry”) the tooth fairy. Larry has a unique use for the teeth he retrieves from underneath pillows. You will have to see the play to find out what it is.
In the end, the old lady returns, the foolery ends, and the bunny bids a good night to all- – including the moon.
ATMTC’s production of Goodnight Moon is a high energy, action-packed 60-minute musical that will delight all ages. It plays through October 27th.
Photos by Bruce Douglas
Cast (in Alphabetical Order)
- Bunny – Red Cast: Colin Cech
- Bunny – Green Cast: Jake Foster
- Mouse/Bear/Dish: Maya Brettell
- Old Lady Whispering Hush/Cow: Anissa Hartline
- Cat/Bear/Star Princess/Puppeteer: Dorea Schmidt
- Dog/Tooth Fairy/Bear/Puppeteer: Samuel Edgerly
- U/S – Old Lady/Cow/Cat/Bear/Star Princess/Puppeteer: Mary Beth Luckenbaugh
- U/S – Dog/Tooth Fairy/Bear/Puppeteer: Chris Rudy
- U/S – Mouse/Bear/Dish: Caroline Coleman
- Director: Roberta Gasbarre
- Director: Tyler Herman: Asst
- Music Director: William Yanesh
- Choreographer: Michael J: Bobbitt
- Set Designer: Deborah Wheatley
- Costume Designer: Frank Labovitz
- Props Designer: Andrea “Dre” Moore
- Puppet Designer: Matt Reckeweg
- Lighting Designer: Jedidiah Roe
- Sound Designer: Neil McFadden
- Stage Manager: Will Richardson
- Stage Manager: Ashley Chen: Asst
- Scenic Charge: Pallas Bane
- Master Electrician: John Rose-Caron
Disclaimer: Adventure Theatre MTC provided three complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/9762.
Michelle James has been a theatre aficionado for the past 30 years.