James and the Giant Peach has rolled down a hill in England, floated across the Atlantic Ocean, staved off sharks and high tides, and now it’s at the Wilson Center. Roald Dahl’s classic book, which is required reading for many in Duval County, is sure to delight children in its musical form. Bright colors, zany costumes, and a score that just won’t quit await you.
A cheery musical number usher the audience into the theater, but don’t let this standard children’s theater tune fool you, you’re in for some interesting sounds. An upbeat techno score that may be the highlight of the show is not far off: an axe chopping wood will soon become the back beat to a poem, along with other delightful sound effects reminiscent of 90’s children’s PBS show Zoom.
Equally appealing costumes are a treat for the imagination. Old Green Grasshopper, portrayed by Bryan Martins, stole the show and had the costume to boot. The oversized articles in muted earth tones were the perfect complement to Martins’ cadence and sway. Earthworm, portrayed by Savannah Raney, was dressed in loose pants, puffy vest, and oversized black sunglasses, making Raney, who has a small frame, appear positively plump. Raney’s acting was delightfully cynical, and pared with this costume is sure to be beloved.
With so much work being put into the performance, we wanted to make sure everyone can be recognized. From the tireless work of the staff who directed the music, the set builders who spent weeks on the displays, our seamstress’ and seamsters sewing together the authentic costumes and the amazing cast really made this performance a success. Patrons of the show were left with a great memory of how amazing our students are and the incredible effort they displayed for this series of shows.