|Aimee Martin as Slue Foot Sue and Brandon Doak as Pecos Bill.|
Person One: HEY, I'M TALKING TO YOU.
Person Two: You talking to me?
Get the picture? Don't, don't, don't do that to your audience. Everyone with lines or solos needs to be on EQUAL ground.
Aside from that the show was pretty good. It came off somewhere between a Disney Channel (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody or That's So Raven) or Nickelodeon (True Jackson or iCarly) kid's TV show and a VBS (Vacation Bible School) program. That is to say the acting is more kid friendly in a lowbrow kind of way than for adults and it's kids after all (some with and some without great talent) and parents like to see their kids in programs, regardless.
See, the thing is with CYT (and MPAA), though there are auditions, parents pay to have their kids in the show and, if they pay, their kid is pretty much in the show if they are needed, though some may be cut. Then the director casts the best of what he/she has been dealt in the leads and the rest go to the very large chorus. Which (like in this case) is a lot more girls than boys and so you have girls playing boys (like in this case). [An ideal cast for CYT, I'm told, is 65 children.]
However, the important thing to remember is that the kids are getting experience and they are being trained and are growing in the craft and, most of all, they find encouragement (there's nothing like enthusiastic applause).
The Great and the Tall
|From left to right: Annie Christmas, Annie Oakley, Davy Crockett, Sally Ann |
Thunder, Paul Bunyan, Slue Foot Sue, John Henry, Johnny Appleseed and
Pecos Bill in CYT's "Great American Tall Tales."
Standout vocalists were Savannah Wetzler (Miss Peele), Maddie Hays (Johnny Appleseed) and Aimee Martin (Slue Foot Sue). All I Know, sung by Miss Wetzler, was my favorite of the show. The song had weight, a beautiful melody and was nicely delivered. Plant a Seed, sung by Miss Hays, was done well and had a good message. Abbi Decker (Darcy) also sang quite well (and she always looked like she was having fun).
|Aimee Martin (Slue Foot Sue)|
|Front row, left to right: Alice (Tori Jensen), Darcy (Abbi Decker) and |
Travis (Tyler Lugenbeal).
The Telling of the Tale
The primary unit set was extremely well done--very nice. Some of the add-ins were troublesome to the crew, but the changes were generally quick. The lighting was adequate for the most part (a little dim at times for a musical, but the pallet was nice). The costumes were great. The show moved along at a good clip and stayed interesting.
And speaking of crowd/chorus scenes, it's hard to get a count from the program because of overlapping roles, but there were close to 40 performers--sometimes too many for the stage. But that's the nature of these kinds of shows; the more kids you can get in the show the more money you make off parents. (I know, I come off like a broken record.)
The "American" Way
Keep in mind that, like the American republic (of the people, by the people, for the people), this show was written of (about) kids, performed by kids and for kids, and you'll get what you expect (plus a little bit more). Children, and relatives and friends of the performers, will love the show. I enjoyed it, too.
Description: When a small group of kids sneak into a dusty museum exhibit during a field trip their adventure (and the exhibit) comes to life. They meet the beloved characters of American folklore and must save them from being forgotten by the next generation and being discarded by a messed-up curator.
Performances are at Fort Vancouver High School, now through Nov. 11. Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10 at 3 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.
Advanced purchase adult tickets are $12 (a little steep for this), youth, senior and group tickets are $9; family day tickets for November 3 are $9 in advance. All tickets are $2 more at the door. There are also school day performances as follows: Tuesday, November 6 at 9:30 and 11:45 a.m. Tickets for these performances start at $5.
For tickets go to www.cytvanport.org or call 360-750-8550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Gregory E. Zschomler
All photos provided by CYT as photography is not allowed.