Pinocchio is a character that first appeared in 1883, in The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, and has since appeared in many adaptations of that story and others.  Carved from a piece of pine by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a small Italian village, he was created as a wooden puppet, but dreamt of becoming a real boy.  But, like most real boys, Pinocchio does not always make the best choices and so he finds himself miserable and alone, discarded in a woodpile.  A bereft Geppetto searches far and wide until, quite inexplicably, they both end up in a whale, sing a beautiful duet in I Wanna Go Home, and then have the fairytale ending the audience was hoping to see.

 Geppetto (Troy Hussmann) was portrayed with depth both physically and vocally, making this a character we cared about and we wanted to see how his story would end.  From the opening Talkin’ to Myself and throughout the production, Geppetto kept sentiment and the love for his son the driving force for everything he said and did.  Pinocchio, (Stephen Lawrence) was funny and very puppet-like in his movements yet earnest in his desire to be a good son who was led astray by the universal desire to fit in.  Keeping company with Geppetto were Miss Rosanni (Danielle Caha) Mrs. Mutarri, (Raquel Everett) and Mr. Mutarri (Haden Jaramillo) who in particular is proof that an actor doesn’t need a lot of lines to make a huge impact, as this character was hilarious without a line spoken until the end of the production.  The three characters together gave some comic relief to Geppetto’s anxiety due to his son’s corruptibility.

Two dark characters lurking about to take advantage of Pinocchio’s innocence were Honest John (Mickey Hike) and Giddy (Annalise Lamothe) who both brought a lot of energy to the stage and some great vocals as well.  The big ensemble number More was fun with great choreography that was delivered enthusiastically. Blue, (Alison Madera) did a fine job of holding the story together with her comedic narration.

The sets for this production were minimalist; sometimes too much so and too much of the production took place in front of the main curtain which takes away any dimension.  The costumes (Laura Elliott) were great and added to the time frame of the story.  Musical Director Amy Thomas coaxed some first-rate harmonies and vocal performances from the cast, and Director Andrea Justice Lee did her best with a good story that hasn’t had the best treatment as a script or musically.  It was clear that her actors were animated and happy to be taking part of Pinocchio.

Performed May 28th – 30th

Martha Pettit
National Youth Theatre

Pinocchio: Stephen Lawrence
Gepetto: Troy Hussman
Blue: Alison Madera
Giddy: Annalise Lamothe
Honest John: Mickey Hike
Lampwicke: Joe Stein
Flint: James Bowen
Treech: Jaya Mapleton
Stromboli: Ben Ellis
Mmrs. Mutarri: Raquel Everett
Mrs. Rosanni/Princess: Danielle Caha
Mr. Mutarri: Haden Jaramillo
Coachman: Rhett Jaramillo
Coachwoman: Aryss Johnson
Leonardo: Angela Vanella

Jessi Doshier
Katie Elliot
Brenn Evans
Leah Helman
Savannah King
Quinn LaDou
Layne LaDou
Chantel Leak
Julia Pulley
Nicklas Reza
Priya Shea
Emilie Story

Michaela Bowen
Hailey Brinkerhoff
Delaney Ellis
Brian Erickson
Kaitlyn Erickson
Breanna Harries
Rachel Haynes
Ashley Lancaster
Meghan Manning
Becca Meyer
Ashlyn Miller
Grant Myatt
Tanner Myatt
Christopher Romero-Sosa
Emma Schumaker
Maya Shea
Kathryn Sweet
Bethel Woolf

Naughty Boys/Girls:
Michelle Caha
Madison Hsieh
Heidi Hussmann
Isabella Oursler
Hayley Sharpe
Callie Sheahan
Samantha Shroll
Madelyn Vanbebber
Katie Zieber

Karlee Abrahamian
Kelsey Matheson
Nina Sheridan

Director: Andrea Justice Lee
Intern Director Lindsay Nault
Musical Director: Amy Thomas
Choreographer: Blythe Baker
Assistant Choreographer: Willie May
Costumer: Laura Elliott
Sound Design:  Patrick Kelly
Lighting Design: Matt McGil
Set Coordinator: Troy Hussman


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