Director/Founder of Young Artisans, Sadonna Croff does an amazing job of managing this large cast of 29 youngsters aged 10-18, some of whom are new to the stage. Kids not only learn acting, but other aspects of stage tech work, and teamwork as well.
Music Director Katherine Wilson did a nice job of teaching the songs. The group singing/dancing numbers were a highlight thanks to the choreography of Roberta Otten.
Kudos to Katy Kettles (with assistants Josh Golden Camara Lewis , Brynn Sullivan and Makena Martin) for the fascinating costumes, designed to look “created from the trash” (where the rats became magically “educated” by eating discarded magic potion that enabled them to speak and express their dreams — and want to have names and make fashion statements.) The costumes are wonderful from the audience and amazing seen up close. Even if you don’t know a kid in the show, go through the lobby receiving line just to examine those costumes. Some are made from fabric “pages of books” that the kids hand-wrote stories on - they are full of fun, trash-details.
Another impressive aspect of the set is Bella Croff’s projections, which set many scenes and are the real “scenography” of the show. Combined with Tom Ferris’s practical set, these projections create a variety of locations that can be changed quickly.
Outstanding performers include “The Amazing Maurice” played with swagger, energy and attitude by Simon Rebeck. Steven Wulfekuhler scares everyone as The Rat King, a spooky symbol of the spirit of revenge. Phineas Reed shines as “Sardines” the show-biz dancer rat, who maintains focus and energy even when not doing his adorable tap dance. Cecelia Cody is Malicia, our narrator, ably spinning the story and inviting us into the tale. Francis Melinn is “the Kid” who brightly outpaces the overpriced “professional” Rat Piper (Rachel Wilkes). Josie Croff is the strong leader Darktan, who rallies the troops when it counts.
The Amazing Maurice is a fun experience for both participants and audience - (proud to have grandkid participants, both on and offstage.) It’s a relatively short show (about 90 minutes which includes intermission) ONE WEEKEND ONLY - general seating. 7pm Friday & Saturday and 4:30 pm Sunday. $10/$8