By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette
Premiering tonight, Dear Edwina is the Warehouse Living Art Center’s newest musical for the 2021 season; an imaginative song and dance showcase directed by Danielle Pillans, and choreographed by Ashton Kantor. This special performance will be hosted at the Palace Theatre, located at 112 W. Sixth Avenue.
Performances are 7:30 p.m Thursday, Nov. 18 through Saturday, Nov. 20, and a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21. Tickets for Dear Edwina can be purchased here.
A one hour musical, the story focuses on Edwina Spoonapple (Julianna Feldman), a young girl who shares advice with her neighborhood friends and family through a weekly musical show she presents from her garage. While her older siblings are known to be very musically talented, Edwina has a knack for giving out life lessons to kids who send her letters.
Dear Edwina is a very fast-paced show filled with numerous songs and a sizable ensemble made up of kids and “big kids” (read: grown ups) from past WLAC performances. The combination is a humorous mix that truly puts the phrase “kids of all ages” into play.
Feldman shines as Edwina, having recently come from Nunsense. While often part of the ensemble numbers, she gets a chance to showcase her range in “Sing Your Own Song,” a touching number about being yourself while not letting others dull your talents.
The rest of the cast each get their own showcase piece, highlighting bits of life advice from being a good guest to proper table place settings. The range in musical genres is broad, and both young and adult performers put in lively song and dance performances from ballet (Samantha Stewart) to calypso (Carson Hoover).
Gary Janeway gets a love ballad as the character Scott, Edwina’s chess playing friend who is hopelessly in love with her. John Kaiser sings a spooky song about bad houseguests with “Frankenguest.” April Pomeroy gives a toe-tapping country performance as Ann in “Put It in the Piggy,” a song about saving money.
Overall, Dear Edwina is an enjoyable child-friendly show filled with catchy songs, energetic performances, and good old-fashioned life lessons. While Edwina is an evening show, its short run time should ensure even the littlest theater patrons will be home in time for bed after hanging out in Paw Paw, Michigan with Edwina and friends.
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