|Corinne Niezgodzki (Charlotte) and Albert Johnston (Wilbur)|
photo: Eric Ochoa
Click here for more information on this production that runs through October 23rd.
"...Charlotte’s Web, now running at VYT until October 23, is a full-blown musical based on the perennial family favorite by E.B. White, loosely based on the author’s earlier days while living back on the farm in Maine. The script is by Joseph Robinette who wrote the piece with input and guidance from the original author, while music and lyrics comes from Broadway composer Charles Strouse.
...Bobb Cooper’s familiarity with the show...gives him the advantage of delivering an assured and thoroughly pleasing production for a different generation of young theatre-goers performed by a new group of young actors, many of whom show a real potential for the craft as their talent develops.
Perhaps no story better displays the themes of trust, real sacrifice, love and friendship than the story of a farmyard pig named Wilbur (an exuberant and genuinely funny Albert Johnson) whose life is saved by the spinning of some positive, reinforcing words on a spider’s web. “The writing bug has bit me,” sings Charlotte, a delightfully engaging Corinne Niezgodzki who with the broadest of smiles and the friendliest of voices makes her spider one of the warmest eight-legged arachnids you’re likely to meet....with a running time of just over 90 minutes plus intermission, the show is long enough to keep its intended audience happy before fidgeting begins. While the song melodies are little more than pleasant, much of the show’s humor comes from Strouse’s lyrics rather than Robinette’s dialog. ...Director Cooper has assembled a fun and appealing cast of young actors...Karol Cooper’s costume design is..first class, while scenic designer Dori Brown’s set of Farmer Zuckerman’s barn that also doubles as part of the county fair...creates a faultless illusion of north eastern country farm life. And it’s all nicely complimented by Daniel Davisson’s lighting design......What a treat it must be for a child to be introduced to Fern, Wilbur and Charlotte for the first time, live on stage at a theatre, especially when it’s done as well as it is here, at Valley Youth Theatre. " -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)