Friday, August 1, 2008

Barnstable Partiot Review of Chicken Little!

Chicken Little full of pun and charm

Written by Mary Richmond

Another ‘eggs-cellent’ BHS production

If you can sit through the Barnstable Summer Family Theater’s production of Chicken Little and walk out without a big smile on your face, perhaps you should be locked up with Foxy Loxy and Merritt the Ferret.
Director Ed O'Toole has once again brought together a hodgepodge of kids of all ages, mixed in some wonderful sets and costuming, sprinkled it with just the right touch of local ad-lib humor (I’m pretty sure the Red Sox were not mentioned in the original) and a corny but funny script to entertain families and the young at heart.
This Chicken Little is based on the Disney movie more than the storybook version many of us grew up with. All the familiar characters are there. There’s Ducky Lucky, Turkey Lurkey, Henny Penny and Booster Rooster. And from the moment the first characters appear on stage in chicken beaks and duck bills, yellow and white bloomers, orange tights and big orange feet you know you are in for a romping good time. O'Toole manages to put many small children on stage doing cute and silly things and in the opening scene, reminiscent of the old Greek chorus, little “peeps” are partially hidden behind sets from which they appear to add their two clucks worth of dialog and puns.
It is difficult when reviewing a play cast with so many young people to mention only a few. The entire cast is filled with positive energy and everyone is obviously having fun on stage. The jokes fly around like chicken feathers and the story moves quickly from the set-up to the infamous “sky is falling” event to the denouement.
The Little Red Hen, played by the capable and funny Breana Cole, is a scene-stealer throughout with her little flock of “peeps” following after her. Ashley Goverman is sweet and earnest as Chicken Little and her sidekick, Maddie Sicard as Ducky Lucky is endearing and engaging. Sicard has all the little duck movements down and makes you smile every time she’s on stage.
Tommy Myers as Booster Rooster is over the top and gets a laugh every time he opens his beak and Shannon Pacella rules the stage every time she appears as the bossy Henny Penny
It’s not all just about the birds. The three little pigs, played by Joey Bearse, Austin Benevides and Hank Rex, know how to steal a scene or two and do it well. The real thieves, however, are Ethan Brown as the sneaky and daring Foxy Loxy and Jason Pacella as the bumbling Merritt the Ferret. Both young men do outstanding jobs in their roles and keep the story rolling along at a good pace. Every time they are on stage they bring humor and action with them.
The play is simple, the story is easy to follow and the puns and jokes never stop coming. The children in the audience absolutely loved it and so did the adults. The costumes and sets are great and as always O'Toole uses the whole auditorium as his theater. There is always action, the performers are “mic-ed” so everyone is heard easily and even the smallest actors are well rehearsed.
Looking for a night out with the kids? You will have an “egg-cellent” time here.

1 comment:

Lisa Nickerson said...

Great job cast and crew of Chicken Little! I saw the show last night with my 7 year old niece who hasn't stopped laughing and talking about Booster Rooster!

Of course, I might be partial to Hen #2, Hannah Nickerson (she is my very own hatchling).

Bravo and we look forward to seeing the show again before it closes.

Lisa Nickerson