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Pumpkin Theatre Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

By • Feb 29th, 2012 • Category: Reviews

Luckily, Pumpkin Theatre’s current production is neither terrible, horrible, no good, nor very bad. In fact, it is pleasantly fun and enjoyable. It lacks a little polish that may have made it standout for an adult audience, but it is entirely delightful for its target audience of young children. The performances range from solid to outstanding, and the only real critiques are more technical in nature.

To begin with the outstanding, you need look no farther than Isaac Lunt in the lead role of Alexander. He plays the role large enough to keep the attention of the young audience, while also showing a nuanced believability that will impress any audience. He is able to spend almost the entire hour whining and pouting without becoming annoying.

Delightful performances come from all of the female ensemble members. Tammy Crisp easily embodies a child with her mannerisms and cadence. Amanda Rife has great comedic delivery and wows with her impressive gymnastic stunt. Joi Gaskins gets an opportunity to show off her very pretty voice, and Holly Gibbs in appropriately over-the-top in her scene-stealing turn as the teacher. Charlie Long does a nice job of creating varied and interesting character bits, and Derek Cooper has high energy throughout the production.

The biggest problem with the production is the lack of microphones. Although all performers can easily be heard while speaking, the problem comes in with the musical numbers. Most of the soloists are drowned out by the band. The sound error definitely allows the energy and the audience attention to drop during those solo moments.

The costumes are simple but well-designed, as is the lighting. The set, on the other hand, feels sloppy and the vision is unclear. The large piano used as a set piece seems to lack reason, apart from the scene where it is used as a piano. The haphazard use of blankets and sheets as the backdrops seems to be without a real purpose. However, it is unlikely that the young audience members gave a second thought to the set design.

As far as serving the purpose of being an enjoyable and appropriate production for children, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day definitely fits the bill.

Cast

  • Alexander: Isaac Lunt
  • Ensemble: Derek Cooper, Tammy Crisp, Holly Gibbs, Joi Haskins, Charlie Long, & Amanda Rife

Design Team & Crew

  • Director: Ryan Michael Haase
  • Stage Manager: Allyson Haley
  • Musical Director: Ryan Michael Haase
  • Costume Design: Heather C. Jackson
  • Lighting Design: Adrienne Giesxl
  • Properties Deisgn: Ryan Michael Haase
  • Set Design: Ryan Michael Haase
  • Scenic Artist: Jayne Harris
  • Stage Crew: Ashlyn Walderman
  • Carpenter: Steven Bainbridge
  • House Manager: Kathryn Falcone

The Band

  • Guitar: Brian Loeper
  • Cello: Steve Bainbridge
  • Flute: Tracy Shindledecker
  • Piano with the Band: Ryan Michael Haase

Disclaimer: Pumpkin Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has been involved in theatre in the state of Maryland and DC for most of her life. She has acted, directed, choreographed, stage managed, and held a million other odd jobs. She has a B.S. in English from Towson University, and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree to become a Reading Specialist. She is a Maryland State Certified English, Theatre, Elementary, and Mathematics Educator. After teaching English and Drama for many years, she now teaches 6th grade Language Arts at Magnolia Middle School in Harford County, Maryland. She wrote the curriculum currently used in Prince George’s County Public Schools for Drama I and Drama II. She now writes and directs plays and musicals for use in church.

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