Raleigh Little Theatre’s “Dear Edwina Jr.” Is the Perfect Girl-Power Musical for a New Generation
Raleigh Little Theatre will present a youth-theater production of Dear Edwina Jr., a one-hour children’s musical by composer Zina Goldrich and lyricist and librettist Marcy Heisler, on May 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20 in its Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre as part of the community theater’s 2011-12 Youth Series. RLT‘s youth and theater education director Linda O’Day Young will stage the show with a cast that includes several young performers who have been participants in the theater’s youth-education program.
According to Raleigh Little Theatre:
“[These y]oung performers will bring to life quirky characters and situations that children and teens can relate to in the musical, Dear Edwina Jr. The story is about 13-year-old Edwina Spoonapple [played for RLT by Olivia Bouzigard], who would do just about anything to be part of the Kalamazoo Advice-A Palooza Festival.
“When a Talent Scout from Advice-A-Palooza [voiced by Kathleen Rudolph] visits Edwina’s hometown of Paw Paw, Michigan, she decides to put her musical advice on display in the form of a show in the family garage, assisted by her older siblings on piano and drums and featuring some of her interesting friends and neighbors. Edwina addresses the world’s etiquette challenges in number after hysterical musical number, in the same way that School House Rock Live!, the musical (based on the Emmy Award-winning 1970s Saturday morning cartoon), teaches history, grammar, math, science, and politics through clever, tuneful songs.”
In addition to Olivia Bouzigard as Edwina Spoonapple and Kathleen Rudolph as the Voice of the Talent Scout, Raleigh Little Theatre‘s youthful cast of Dear Edwina Jr. includes Parker Perry as Scott; Julia Ryan as Becky and Chef Ludmilla; Cee Cee Huffman as Kelli and the Fairy Forkmother; Graham Gall as Bobby and Farmer Jerry; Ellie Dusek as Annie; Jackson Paul Stafford as Lars and Harry; Noah Anderson as Billy, Vladimir, and Ziggy; Chance Jones as Cordell and William; Katie Regittko as Mary Sue Betty Bob and Susie of Susie and The Napkins; Ellie Dusek, Elyse Holdaway, Rachel Kanakanui, and Kinsey Watson as The Napkins; Lexie Baird as Katie Spoonapple and Carrie; Pippa Dunne as Aphrodite; Olivia Olsen as the Queen of Boola Boola, Abigail, and Frank’s Ma; Elizabeth Sullivan as Periwinkle; Robbie Jackson as Frank; Logan Powers as Johnny; Adriana P. DeNoia as Lola; Ben Pluska as Sonoma; and Elyse Holdaway and Rachel Kanakanui as Cheerleaders.
Besides director Linda O’Day Young, the RLT creative team for Dear Edwina Jr. includes choreographer Susan Hill, musical director Jean Marie Whaley, technical director Jim Zervas, scenic and lighting designer and properties manager Thomas Mauney, costume designer Jenny Mitchell, sound designer and engineer Becca Easley, production assistant Jessica McGee, and stage manager Mike McGee.
Dear Edwina Jr. is part of Music Theatre International’s Broadway Junior Collection. The musical is a youth-theater version of Dear Edwina (1998), which made its Off-Broadway debut, directed by Timothy McDonald and choreographed by Steven G. Kennedy, on Nov. 14, 2008 at the DR2 Theatre, where it ran through April 19, 2009 and earned 2009 Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Music (Zina Goldrich) and Outstanding Lyrics (Marcy Heisler).
Music Theatre International raves:
“At last a musical that features a cast of nearly all girl performers! Follow the adventures of advice-giver extraordinaire Edwina Spoonapple as she directs the kids in the neighborhood in production number after hilarious production number in her ‘Advice-A-Palooza’ extravaganza.
“Written in the style of Schoolhouse Rock Live!  and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown , Dear Edwina Jr. is the perfect girl-power musical for a new generation.”
Raleigh Little Theatre presents DEAR EDWINA JR. at 7:30 p.m. May 4, 1 and 5 p.m. May 5 and 6, 7:30 p.m. May 11, 1 and 5 p.m. May 12 and 13, 7:30 p.m. May 18, and 1 and 5 p.m. May 19 and 20 in its Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre, Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.
TICKETS: $15 ($10 children age 12 and under).
BOX OFFICE: 919-821-3111 or http://www.etix.com/.
NOTE: All shows are wheelchair accessible, and assistive-listening devices are available for all shows.
Dear Edwina: http://www.dearedwina.com/ (official website), http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000212 (Music Theatre International), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dear_Edwina (Wikipedia).
Dear Edwina Junior: http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000232 (Music Theatre International).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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