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Fredonia production of ‘James and the Giant Peach’ offers all-ages appeal
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fredonia production of ‘James and the Giant Peach’ offers all-ages appeal

The cast of the Fredonia Department of Theatre and Dance production of “James and the Giant Peach” includes, from left, Kip Tarsio as Little Old Man, Brie Covington as Aunt Spiker, Lucas DeNies as James Henry Trotter, Pandora Kew as Narrator/Mother and Henry Rosenberg as Narrator/Father.

The Fredonia Department of Theatre and Dance concludes its 2015-16 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series in with six performances of a classic children’s fantasy piece that has all-ages appeal.

“James and the Giant Peach” will be presented on April 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. and April 24 at 2 p.m. in Bartlett Theatre. The production is designed to be a family-centered event.

Written by Roald Dahl in 1961, “James and the Giant Peach” tells of young James Henry Trotter, an orphaned boy who escapes life with his two cruel aunts when a magic potion turns a peach tree into a portal to a world of adventure. Six magically altered garden bugs serve as guides for James’ surreal travels in this new found realm.

This classic children’s tale was adapted for the stage by David Wood. The Mainstage production is directed by Ted Sharon, associate professor and head of performance for the Department of Theatre and Dance.

“James and the Giant Peach is a wonderful ride through pure imagination,” Sharon said. “Roald Dahl says ‘We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams,’ and his timeless story reflects this in living color.” The director noted that the Mainstage production will be “the definition of an all-ages appeal. There is something there for everyone and it fulfills the hopes of production team members and audiences alike,” Sharon said. “What a grand opportunity to play a centipede. What a joy it is to see the ladybug, who believes that all has been lost, get a second chance at life.”

Sharon said the highlights of the Mainstage production include “fabulous costumes, a set that functions like a jungle gym, character voices, creature movement and aerial silk work by the silk worm.”

“Imagination is the driving force of our lives, and ‘James and the Giant Peach’ is a powerful reminder of that,” Sharon said. “What a wonderful thing for an adult to speak to a young person after the show about what they saw and for both to feel the wonder of youthful imagination and possibility as they talk.”

“James and the Giant Peach” is sponsored by First Niagara as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.

Tickets for this event are available by phone at 673-3501 or online.

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