I had the pleasure of attending Childsplay’s, “Junie B. Holiday Extravaganza” this past weekend. It was a fun filled event where the participants got to partake of four separate zones: cookie decorating, ornament making, gift wrap designing and jingle bell singing. Children came dressed in their holiday best and boy, were they ready for some holiday creativity. We even got to make Junie B. glasses out of pipe cleaners. If you attended, then you know how much fun was had by all. If not, then fear not, you haven’t missed out on ALL the fun.
After the Extravaganza we had the pleasure of seeing a production of “Junie B. Jones, Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.” It was super fun! A perfect production for the littler kids. The set was AMAZING. Carey Wong brought each scene to life, big and bold. My favorite part was when the classroom was decorated for the holidays. The actors were super in their parts. My favorite character was tattletale, May, played by Debra K. Stevens. A bit of a brat, but pure kid. Katie McFadzen played Junie B. Jones with perfection.
Oh, and this is a great place to mention Kish Finnegan’s costumes. They came straight out of a picture book. Colorful kids wear for all the big kids on stage. Dwayne Hartford was the perfect Mr. Scary. A teacher that you respect but also that you can laugh with. Michael Peck, Ricky Araiza, Jon Gentry and Kate Haas round out the classroom. No, they do more than that… they are the students that you remember from your childhood. If you’re still going to school you will recognize them as the kids that fill the desks around you.
Now this brings me to the story. I love anything theme related and adore a good holiday tale. This one delivers. David Saar (Director) brings this beloved book by Barbara Park (adapted by Allison Gregory) to life. You’ll find yourself laughing throughout Junie B’s school day ups and downs. Bottom line, this is a great story and families should flock to the theatre. In a busy season our days are stretched to the limit. So much to do, and so many things to see. Our choices that we make are important now more than ever. From where dollars are spent down to where we should bring the family. Let me just tell you that you can’t go wrong by adding this onto your Christmas list. Plus you get a great lesson to be learned during the Secret Santa scene. Don’t be “shellfish” bring your family to the theatre. It’s a good gift for all, almost as good as a Squeeze-a-Burp.