We can always count on Wheelock Family Theatre to present classics that entertain the entire family. Such is the case with E.B. White's beloved "Charlotte's Web" - a tale of self-sacrifice and unexpected friendship. Joseph Robinette adapted White's book into the stage play that is the current production closing out Wheelock's successful season.
Directors James P. Byrne and Emily Ranii manage to successfully herd a huge cast of seasoned professionals, experienced young performers, and first timers, many of whom come on at the end as a multitude of baby spiders. It is a sweet moment that I chose to interpret as a metaphor. In the action of the play, Charlotte has died of exhaustion after laying hundreds of eggs in an egg sac. She entrusts the sac to her best friend, Wilbur The Pig. He guards the sac for many months of incubation, and then the hundreds of baby spiders emerge to carry on Charlotte's legacy. In a sense, Wheelock Family Theatre functions as an egg sac, incubating a large number of future bay spider performers, who then spill out onto the stage and into the world.
|Michael Hisamoto as Wilbur|
Shana Dirk as Goose
Margaret Ann Brady as Templeton
John Manning, Jr. as Gander
Julia Paolino as Lamb
Gamalia Pharms as Sheep
Wheelock Family Theatre
Through May 14th
The rustic and versatile Set Design is by James P. Byrne, Lighting by Franklin Meissner, Jr., Sound b, y Josh Northcutt, Costumes by Zoe Sundra.
Standing out in the adult cast were Caroline Lawton as Charlotte, and Michael Hisamoto, who portrayed Wilbur the Pig - Some Pig! - using only his fluid facial expressions and physicality to suggest the porcine friend of Charlotte. Other major performers include Mikayla Tow, Michael Tow, Becca A. Lewis, Samil Battenfield, Benjamin Harding Crawford, Vincent E. Siders, Jenna Lea Scott, DJ Piper, Margaret Ann Brady, Shana Dirk, John Manning, Jr., Gamalia Pharms, Julia Paolino, Robert Saoud, Brian Savage.
Families with children of all ages were delighted by the proceedings. The show runs through May 14th. Allow yourself to be pulled into Charlotte's enticing web.