by Morgan-Wixson Theatre
"...With all the warmth and comfort of a big bedtime storybook!"
Pooh, played by Lilianah Barton, was sweet, cuddly and unambiguous, exactly what you want in a stuffed bear pal. Standout performances came from Mira Keller, the interminably pessimistic Eeyore, Rahland Keller as the Owl with all the answers and a somewhat haughty attitude to match, Lexi Sexton as Rabbit, and Tess Hubbard as Tigger, the ADD tiger that Disney portrays with a springy tail and a slightly endearing lisp. Of course, if Tigger isn’t memorable, then we do have a problem. Piglet, Pooh’s never-far-away best friend, was played by Mimi Vizzi in a very cute, endearing role.
Kanga (Lexie Palmer) and her child, Roo (Ethan Kuwata), looks right at home jumping through the forest and bush, and the slightly pompous Owl, always solemn and thinking ahead of all decisions, is really a good egg, loyal and true. The Bees, who ultimately help Pooh get his honey, are flashy and always in flight with the help of the Narrators. And the downcast Eeyore, in typical practicality, was having better than a gloomy day, after all.
The kids who are up on their Pooh will recognize the familiar Disney tunes, like “Winnie the Pooh” and “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers.” Another favorite, “Pooh and Piglet,” and reprise is a peachy trio by Pooh, Piglet and Rabbit. “Honey Two!” starts Act Two with the Narrators out front, followed by “The Backson Song Reprise,” a clever team effort by Rabbit, Eeyore, Tigger, Roo, Kanga and Owl. The laudable “Halfway Down” is an all-cast razzle-dazzle and the show appropriately ends with the big-finish numbers, “Hip Hip Pooh Ray,” and “Everything is Honey.”
Anne Gesling and her crew pulled out all the stops—and the fur and feathers—to create instantly recognizable full-body costumes with intricate face makeup. Kids in the audience were also riveted by the colorful set design and props by William Wilday and Mickey Blaine. Every actor had spot-on characterizations of their respective roles, which is no small feat in that odd, quasi-British world that is Pooh. The show has all the warmth and comfort of a big bedtime storybook, so even your littlest ones will track with it.
Lighting, Technical and Sound Design is also by William Wilday and Stage Management is by Viviana Gonzalez and Rolin Weber. Photography credits to Miriam Billington and Cori Goldberg.
As Tigger would say, the show is “flouncy, bouncy, trouncy, bouncy…fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!” And the thunderous applause confirmed it. Congratulations to Morgan-Wixson’s youth program for a sensational, eye-popping production!
Performed February 2 - 17, 2019
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