Winnie the Pooh

The winning cast members of Adventure Theatre’s Winnie the Pooh bring the characters to life in this loving, living adaptation.  The old familiar events are there, but the pacing and style from director Jerry Whiddon and the engaging songs, lyrics and musical passages add a whole new dimension to the experience. 

From the outset, the taped piano renditions of Beatle songs at the top of the show invite you into the production and set the mood for a gathering of old familiar friends.  And that’s exactly what happens as each character enters—before long, they all feel like cozy buddies you’ve known for years, which in a way, they are.

This quiet tale depicts a simple Pooh fixated on his honey pot, surrounded by loving and caring friends who care for each other and deal with life mishaps and adventures along the way.  Adding to the appeal is that this production has a sophisticated look with creative scenic design by Luciana Stecconi and even a style and rhythm all its own, enhanced by the concert-level piano accompaniment, performed by musical director William Yanesh.

James Gardiner as Eeyore. Genevieve James as Roo, Joshua Morgan as Rabbit and Todd Scofield as Winnie the Pooh. (Photos: Bruce Douglas)

James Gardiner as Eeyore. Genevieve James as Roo, Joshua Morgan as Rabbit and Todd Scofield as Winnie the Pooh. (Photos: Bruce Douglas)

Whiddon has enticed the inner-most inflections out of each of the characters, a particularly fascinating feat with actors doubling in roles.  Who would guess that James Gardiner as the (over) protective mother Kanga could tone down to become a despondently droll Eeyore, but that’s exactly what he does, voice, mannerisms and all.

Highly Recommended
Winnie the Pooh
Closes February 24, 2013
Adventure Theatre MTC
7300 MacArthur Blvd
Glen Echo, MD
1 hour with no intermission
Tickets: $19
Tuesdays thru Sundays
plus some Mondays
Genevieve James portrays Piglet with an urgent high-pitched wail that she hits full throttle when she misses events, gets stuck saying “Ah ha” all by herself (trust me, that’s a big deal), or bursts the birthday present she was entrusted to deliver.

Joshua Morgan  has some of the funniest mannerisms and mad-cap deliveries seen in his rendition of Rabbit, reminiscent of Don Knotts.  His twitchingly affective attempts to apologize are a marvel to behold and reflect the extra high caliber of the performers.

Which brings us to Todd Scofield as the ultimate Pooh, embodying his character’s vocalizations, pitch and gentle mannerisms so completely that you believe he’s the non-plussed bear long after the show is over– he’s that good. As Pooh, Scofield waddles comfortably along, with his skullcap rounding his head and yellow top and bottom designed by Katie Tourat. Holden Brettell as Christopher Robin has an endearing manner and literally saves the day when Pooh has finally dipped too far into his pot.

Forget the cartoon versions and the simple nursery rhyme numbing songs.  This Winnie the Pooh has enough heart, sophistication, and sincerity for today’s modern family entertainment.


Winnie the Pooh . Based on the book by A. A. Milne . Adapted for the stage by le Clanche du Rand . Directed by Jerry Whiddon . Featuring Holden Brettell,  James Gardiner, Genevieve James, Joshua Morgan, Todd Scofield, Maya Brettell, Danny Pushkin. Production –  Assistant Director: Stenise Reaves, Movement Consultant: Mark Jaster, Music Director: William Yanesh, Set Designer: Luciana Stecconi, Costume Designer: Katie Touart, Properties Designer: Andrea “Dre” Moore, Lighting Designer: Andrew Griffin, Sound Designer: Neil McFadden, Stage Manager: Donna R. Stout, Asst. Stage Manager/Production Associate: Julie Roedersheimer , Scenic Charge: Steven Royal, Master Electrician: Sarah Mackowski, Young Company Coordinator/Stage Management Intern: Madeleine Evans. Produced by Adventure Theatre MTC . Reviewed by Debbie Minter Jackson

Other reviews

Jamie Davis Smith . Huffington Post
April Forrer . MDTheatreGuide
Julia L. Exline . DCMetroTheaterArts

Debbie Minter Jackson About Debbie Minter Jackson

Debbie Minter Jackson is a writer and has performed in musical theater for decades. Originally from Chicago, she has hit stages throughout the Midwest and the Washington, D.C. area including the Kennedy Center in productions with the legendary Mike Malone. Her scripts have been commissioned and produced by the old Source Theater and festivals in New York. She is a member of the play reading and discussion group Footlights and the Black Women Playwrights’ Group. By day she happily works in a federal public health agency as a Senior Program Analyst and is in blissful partnership with her Bill.



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