Glen Echo’s Adventure Theatre – Musical Theater Center will present some adventures in size for its young audiences next season, exploring from both ends of the spectrum. Adventure will call down some of the biggest names in the fictive arts to tickle and intrigue patrons as little as four years old.
On the top of the size chart is the company’s world premiere of Big, the Musical as adapted for young audiences. Artistic Directors Jeff Frank, (First Stage, Milwaukee, Wisc) and Michael J. Bobbitt (Adventure/MTC ) have adapted this Weidman-Maltby-Shire musical about Josh, a pre-teener who is dissatisfied by his life, which seems to him to be full of defeats and humiliations. He asks the mechanical arcade wizard Zoltar to make him big. Be careful what you wish for, Josh! From the original movie “Big” by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks. Bobbitt directs the musical, which kicks off the company’s season from September 21 to October 28, 2012. For ages 5 and up.
They also go big with the world premiere of Big Nate, the Musical, taken from the Lincoln Peirce comic strip. Nate, the sixth-grade legend-in-his-own-mind craves the affections of the lovely Jenny, but she is happily companioned with Artur. When the school announces a Battle of the Bands, Nate is sure that his own great band “Enslave the Mollusk” will be the champion, and he thus can win Jenny’s heart. Alas, Jenny and Artur join forces with Nate’s arch-rival Gina, whose band is called “Rainbows and Ponies.” Yyyech! Book by Jason Loewith (Adding Machine); music by well-known DC musical arranger Chris Youstra; lyrics by Loewith and Youstra. Michael Baron will direct this production, which will run from May 3 to June 2 of next year. For ages 5 and up.
Representing the cause of small is another world premiere, Three Little Birds, from a story by Cedella Marley (adapted by Bobbitt) and basted in the music of the great Bob Marley. Young Ziggy is perfectly content to watch TV all day, safe from evil spirits, hurricane and mongoose. But his sly friend Nansi wants him to get out and enjoy Jamaica, and so she enlists the aforementioned birds to give Ziggy something to think about. Directed by Nick Olcott; additional music by John L. Cornelius, II. This show, suitable for ages 4 and up, will run March 15 to April 14, 2013.
And A Little House Christmas, adapted by James DeVita from the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, will serve as Adventure/MTC’s holiday play. A fierce storm blows up while the Ingalls family hosts a Christmas party, cutting them off from town. Serge Seiden directs this all-ages play, which will run from November 17, 2012 to the end of the year.
The company rounds out its season with two classics: Winnie the Pooh, the le Clanché du Rand adaptation of the A.A. Milne book (the Pooh’s efforts to be helpful to his friends are waylaid by his uncontrollable passion for condensed milk and honey), which Jerry Whiddon will direct between January 19 and February 24, 2013; and the season closer, The Cat in the Hat, adapted from the original Seuss by Katie Mitchell, and directed by Karin Abromaitis (story line: Bad kitty! Bad, bad kitty!). The Cat in the Hat will run between June 21 and September 2 of next year. Both shows are suitable for all ages
More details and subscription information for the 2012-2013 season are available here.