The Little Engine that Could (review)

The Little Engine that Could (review)
The Little Engine that Could (review)
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THE PLAY: This musical retelling of the “I think I can” story is reframed thru the relationship of a grandfather and his memories.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Most children will already know this story, so writer Scott Wichmann has included a framing device to expand the message and fill out the original slim plot. He and composer Jason Marks have created likeable songs with approachable lyrics and melodies derived from classic show tune styles. The addition Heidi Rugg’s puppet animals bring a layer of fantasy. while several mentions of Richmond give the story a local slant. The cast is uniformly enjoyable with sweet, smiling energy. Director Chase Kniffen has added humorous elements, but the climax is underwhelming and the youngsters seemed to get a bit restless during the “message” portions. The tech elements are all colorful. Running time: :55

 

THE POINT: The enthusiastic cast brings plenty of spirit and the music is enjoyable, but the sincerity of the message outweighs the fun.

 

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

A production of Virginia Rep’s Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn thru 7/30

 

Photo by Aaron Sutten.

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