Everything About a Family (Almost)
by TADA! Youth Theater

It’s Miller time, which for Leah Miller means family reunion time. Not her favorite time of the year. So when she sees another Miller Family Reunion celebrating nearby, she decides to give them a whirl, during which she learns Everything About a Family (Almost), TADA! Youth Theater’s latest in their “Everything…Almost” original series of musicals, this one exploring everything from embarrassing parents to hand-me-downs to puberty, genetics, siblings, pets, loss, and love through more than a dozen new songs written by more than a dozen songwriters and lyricists, including some right from the cast. That cast consists of TADA’s talented and uniquely trained resident youth ensemble, an ensemble ranging in age from 10 – 17. Some of the highlights include:

Why Are My Parents So Embarrassing by Miriam Daly, with much of the cast agonizing over going to the movie with parents, parents trying to use the hip new lingo, or the worst – visiting them at school! All done to Joanna Greer’s hilarious choreography.

My Teeth by Naomi Lee and Kieman Schmitt, with ten-year-old KyLee Savage giving a hilarious lecture on the disastrous genetic effect family trees can have when bad teeth run in the family. On the bright side, she knows she’ll never be lonely with all those dentist friends.

Casey Wenger-Schulman leads the group through a Hand Me Downs fashion show featuring music by Joy Son and lyrics by Kirsten Guenther.

Alex Getlin lends her lovely vocals and wistful longing to The Big Lagoon by Simon Gray and Lindsay Joelle, wherein the death of a pet goldfish helps a girl come to terms with the passing of her grandmother.

Gabriella Gross is a host throughout as Mackenzie, a gaggingly but hilariously spirited family reunion organizer who relishes being compared to her mother and grandmother, and who leads the big All Kinds of Families number by John Kroner nad Gary Gardner.

John Moriarty and Merce Jessor look for A Name for Myself as “juniors” written by Gary Bagley.

The cast and choreographer have explosions of fun with Robby Stamper and Arianna Rose’s Change Is Strange dealing with the bizarre onset of puberty.

Terrific young talent, ten-year-old Martine Bowman, comes to understand that her wicked stepmother isn’t so wicked after all in Douglas Cohen and Tom Toce’s beautiful ballad Amy.

Christina Franklin and Jonathan Bach are squabbling siblings in Steve Sweeting and Phoebe Kreutz’s amusing and well-performed Mom Likes Me Better.

Yes, Emma’s Gone! With great voice and timing, Alec Cohen is the little brother who is thrilled that older sister is moving out to college, no longer having to share bathrooms and computers, but starting to miss her the more he thinks about it in this number by Drew Fornarola and Callie LeFevre.

And if you’re not yet enjoying this family reunion, there’s always the disco version of Jim Colleran’s Miller Madness complete with disco ball and great, fun choreography.

In the end, Leah (Mary Claire Miskell) might be rethinking her escape with her inspiring Going Home written by Deirdre Broderick. And to sum it all up nicely? Jim Colleran’s That’s a Family.  A new show the whole family can enjoy.

Performed April 17 - May 17, 2009

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Mackenzie: Gabriella Gross
Leah: Mary Claire Miskell
Michael: Tristan Hickey
Angela: Maya Park
Dylan: Adam Mandala
Tom: Javier Cardenas
Steffi: KyLee Savage
DJ: Megan Nicholson MacRae
Cameron: Casey Wenger-Schulman
Alyssa: Alex Getlin
Edward Jr.: John Moriarty
Tyler: Merce Jessor
Carla: Martine Bowman
Zoey: Christina Franklin
Jake: Jonathan Bach
Will: Alec Cohen
Hannah: Jennifer Wais
Sophie: Taylor Jones
Tim: Gregory Kirsopp
Frankie: Amiri Taylor
Nancy: Simone Singletary
Samantha: Victoria Cotton
Tammy: Kristin Callahan
Lindsay: Miriam Claire Jones

Director: Janine Nina Trevens
Choreographer: Joanna Greer
Musical Director: Jim Colleran
Set Designer: Joseph Gourley
Costume Designer: Cheryl McCarron
Lighting Designer: Kirk Bookman
Production Stage Manager: Kris Valentine


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