New York City can be a tough town. If a mouse is man enough to make it there, he can make it anywhere. Enter Stuart Little, the second son of Frederick C. Little, and a clever and loving mouse trying to make an extraordinary life for himself. He’s the other popular story by Charlotte’s Web author E. B. White, the star of a couple hit live-action movies, and also the star of this musical stage adaptation by Joseph Robinette and here performed by the young artists at Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids in Boulder, Colorado.

Ten-year-old Rachel Clair makes for a lively, determined, and caring Stuart Little who spends his days helping out his new family, trying to make peace with the family cat Snowbell, nurturing a friendship with the bird Margalo, and just being neighborly. Except with the nearby dog (Hailey Van Wormer) who chases Stuart every chance she gets in an amusing, fast-paced chase that has Hailey yapping after Stuart and making hilarious pauses when she gets too close, before giving chase once again.

The cast also includes good performances from Melanie Schaffer as the cool, uppity, spoiled cat Snowbell who can never completely be trusted, Laura Dunlap as Stuart’s sensible mom Mrs. Little, Alei Russo as a sweet and fragile Margalo, and Erinrose Guderian who is especially believable and completely in character in various roles including the kindly, good-natured Doctor Carey. The ensemble does a nice job as a bunch of alley cats and as students of the unlikely substitute teacher Stuart Little.

David Orace Kelly directs this fun, little 60-minute zip through the life of this unique mouse, moving it along well and with an eye for the humor and the tenderness. The set is simple but works well – especially for the dog chases. And props take us down to size (Stuart throws a beach ball back to George (Sasha Matejka) which becomes a lost ping pong ball when George gets it on the other side of the wall, and a large brass ring as big as Stuart likewise turns into a wedding ring on Mrs. Little’s finger).

Like the book, the show ends a bit abruptly, never revealing whether Stuart’s last quest is successful. E. B. White, a hypochondriac, was afraid he wouldn’t live to see the book published (although he lived another forty years), so he simply stopped writing and sent it in to the publisher. But Stuart’s life is a bit charmed, so we’ll hope for the best!

Performs April 14 & 21, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Stuart Little: Rachel Clair
Narrator: Kelsey McCoy
Margalo, Harriet Aimes: Alei Russo
George, Superintendent: Sasha Matejka
Mrs. Little: Laura Dunlap
Mr. Little: Koji Endo
Snowbell: Melanie Schaffer
Babette, Mrs. Swenson: Christina Martino
Tige, Doctor Carey: Erinrose Guderian
Angie, Leroy, Zeke: Tom Nosal
Malty, Reporter, Repairman: Hailey Van Wormer
Hank, Storekeeper, Pigeon, Mr. Clydesdale: Aida Castillo

Director: David Orace Kelly
Asst. Director: Charlotte Brecht Munn
Musical Director & Accompanist: Heidi Anderson
Costume Designer: Leslie Dunlap


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