Monday, April 13, 2015

review - THE MUSICAL ADVENTURES OF FLAT STANLEY - Valley Youth Theatre

Sam Primack and the cast
photos: Barry Smith
"As directed by Bobb Cooper, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley is so much colorful fun and zips along at such a brisk pace. Timothy Allen MacDonald’s short but sharply written script is full of the kind of wit both children and adults can enjoy, even admire.  The songs by McDonald and Jonathan K. Waller, are surprisingly tuneful with the kind of lyrics that make you smile the more you think of them.  “You could hang me on the wall,” sings Flat Stanley, “And call me Art.”  Plus Cori Brown’s fun choreography incorporates all kinds of styles to back the tunes, including a terrific tap dance, plus a colorful Hawaiian beach party. The accompanying music is recorded. Occasionally there was a tendency for the recordings to drown the young actors making it difficult to initially hear what was either being said or sung, yet in the end, the show’s overall goodwill and fun nature helped audiences look past  some of the production’s technical difficulties. The large, disciplined cast appears to be having a ball, delivering their lines with great comic timing while transitioning the action from scene to scene without a moment’s pause, but there are two standouts that should be acknowledged. It’s now been several years watching both Sam Primack and Carly McClain grow before us on the VYT stage, but in Flat Stanley you can see just how well both actors have developed.  Like certain famous VYT alumni before him, Sam’s resume already illustrates the kind of experience required to back a possible future career, but the real surprise is Carly whose confidence, ability and overall likeable persona as Mrs. Cartero has truly blossomed.  Individually both Sam and Carly are now highly capable performers, but when sharing the stage together you can tell in their looks, body language and delivery, they come across as seasoned professionals.  Together they elevate the The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley from a fun production into something quite special." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

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