Review | Play: Charlotte’s Web: The Musical

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

For generations, the story of Charlotte’s Web has been a beloved children’s tale. Written in 1952 by E. B. White and later adapted into two films (the 1973 animated and 2006 live-action versions), the story of a small pig and an ever smaller spider striking up an unlikely friendship remains an audience favorite.

Which is no doubt why the Warehouse Living Arts Center chose the musical version for this summer’s children’s production. Charlotte’s Web: The Musical, directed by C. David Hill with assistant direction by Jay Jones, features a young ensemble of actors in a story of loss, change, and miracles.

Wilbur (Diego Monreal) is a runt of the littler piglet spared by his human friend Fern Arable (Isla Updegraff), and sent to live at the neighboring Homer and Edith (Lane Fowler and Savannah Moore) Zuckerman’s farm.

While making friends with the local animals consisting of the geese (Nina Jones, Raistlin Janeway, Lily Scoggins), the sheep (Hannah White, Janie Plemons) and Templeton the rat (Gabriel Johnson), Wilbur learns his life is to be short-lived. However, a clever barn spider named Charlotte (Jadi Collier) wishes to keep her new friend alive, and weaves a plan to save Wilbur’s bacon.

Fans of the story will find all the familiar elements here: Templeton’s gluttonous food binges, Charlotte finding her daily word to weave, and Wilbur’s hopeful optimism. The impressively-sized cast works through the farmyard and fairground to tell the story of “Zuckerman’s Famous Pig.”

This stage production features new songs (written by Charles Strouse) and dance numbers not seen or heard in the animated Hanna-Barbera version, making this an all-new experience. The big chorus-focused musical numbers take full advantage of the stage, and the dynamic between Wilbur, Charlotte, and Templeton remain fun and have chemistry together. London Key’s performance as Fern’s younger sister Avery provides a youthfully fun sense of humor in her scenes.

Charlotte’s Web: The Musical is a family-friendly performance full of humor and heart. Parents and audiences will delight at the colorful costumes and lively performances, and the story retains its charming sense of innocence from start to finish.

Evening Performances start at 7 p.m.: June 24, 25, & 26 | Matinee Performances start at 2:30 p.m.: June 26 & 27
You can book tickets online at www.theWLAC.com or through the Box Office at 903.872.5421 (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

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