Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Making it their own

Eleanor Drury Children's Theatre sure knows how to generate publicity because their production of The Enchanted Bookshop just got another great write-up, this time on the website Thunder Bay News Watch.

As it turns out, The Enchanted Bookshop is one of the first shows they've ever done that was not a widely known classic like Cinderella and The Jungle Book. But they decided to take a chance on it because of the many familiar characters.

"I think it's a lot different," Sarah Hughes, who plays Margie, says. "Normally we do stories you already know, but in this case, you don't know, and it's fun to find out."

What's more, director Aleksa Shermack gave the kids plenty of room to make the show their own, by creating their own choreography.

"We work really with the youth involved to create a show unique to the talents that we have in the show and the talents of the kids and youth involved," she said. "We include songs, media pieces, and dances that are heavily influenced and choreographed or arranged by the actual youth involved."

Sounds like an amazing experience to me. Break legs, guys. I know you're in good hands.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Pure imagination


The release of The Enchanted Bookshop--The Musical is still several months off, but progress is being made. Composer Stephen Murray tells me he has written 11 songs and is currently preparing the piano and vocal scores.

And yet some people just can't wait. Exhibit A: This Ontario production of The Enchanted Bookshop. Eleanor Drury Children's Theatre has taken the published script of the play and added two songs, giving the young actors an opportunity to show off their singing and dancing skills.

I think that's great. I'm always happy to see theatre companies tweak my scripts by adding an occasional song or character.

I was even happier to see that one of the songs they added is my favorite song from one of my favorite movies of all time, 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (forget Johnny Depp, Gene Wilder will always be the Candy Man to me).

No, not "Cheer Up, Charlie". The song they added is that ode to creativity, "Pure Imagination". What better song for a coterie of characters who depend on imagination to give them life?

Well, maybe the 11 songs specially composed for the script by Mr. Murray. They're coming, and you're going to love them. I promise!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

An enchanted trailer

I'm really loving this trailer that the students at a Alabama high school put together for this weekend's performance of The Enchanted Bookshop. Between the lush music, dynamic camerawork and spooky voiceover, it's extremely well-done. In fact, it's so spooky it almost makes the show look like a Harry Potter movie.

Break legs, everyone!