Tuesday, September 16, 2014

reviews CHARLOTTE'S WEB Childsplay

Debra K. Stevens and Kyle Sorrell
Photo: Tim Trumbule
 Robinette’s thorough and faithful adaptation captures every element that made E.B. White’s classic so popular, but it’s what Childsplay does with the show that makes it come alive.   This is a dedicated cast, many of whom adult theatre-goers have seen in several productions in professional theatres throughout the valley before.   Kyle Sorrell’s Wilbur nicely captures that playful sense of innocence and joy of what it’s like to discover new things and new friends.  When Charlotte makes her first entrance into the barn at night and climbs the ladder to her sparkling web overlooking the enclosure as Wilbur sleeps, you hold your breath.   There’s a sense of wondrous expectation to the moment, as if something truly magical is about to begin." - David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage

"Charlotte's Web, doesn't disappoint. It has an exceptional cast and beautiful creative elements that combine to expertly tell this well-known story of a pig named Wilbur and the spider who helps save his life. Director Anthony Runfola manages the skilled company effectively. While Charlotte's Web touches upon some serious life lessons that teach children about life and death it more importantly shows how friendship, bravery, simple acts of kindness, and helping out others are some of the most important things in life to practice. The play is a sweet telling of the classic children's novel, and the Childsplay production of this classic story has an exceptional cast of gifted actors, colorful sets and costumes, and solid direction that bring the story wondrously to life."
-Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway 

Hats off to Childsplay for mastering the transfer from page to stage of E.B. White's classic Charlotte's Web and for casting an ensemble that renders authenticity and depth to this joyous and heartwarming paean to love, friendship, loyalty, and, yes, mortality. Kyle Sorrell convincingly depicts Wilbur's innocence and vulnerability, trembling at one moment in fear of the chopping block, somersaultingly ecstatic at another about his salvation, and ever humble. Debra K. Stevens commands the loft as Charlotte, exuding grace and elegance, deftly weaving into her web Wilbur's attributes ~ magical declarations to the human observer that Wilbur is a very special pig to be saved. Stevens is regal in her role, epitomizing the most tender of maternal instincts and embodying the spirit of a savior." - Herbert Paine, Broadway World

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