The penguins steal the show at Missoula Children's Theater production of Aladdin

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cast photo Aladdin
Photo by Bob Pfeiffer

By Diane Hettrick

You don't remember penguins in Aladdin? Then you didn't see the goofy, funny, charming version staged by the Missoula Children's Theater at the Shoreline Arts Festival on Saturday.

Missoula sends in a couple of youthful professionals, some costumes and sets. The professionals take some of the lead parts, but they recruit and train upwards of 60 local school kids for the rest of the parts.

They are selected on Monday, train for five days, and put on two shows on Saturday.

Lead players in Aladdin
Photo by Bob Pfeiffer

They were all delightful. I think the palm trees had the best lines (multiple puns on dates). The older kids, many of whom have some stage experience from school, were very good.

But the little ones stole the show. The penguins really did quite well. They sang a song early in the production and not only were on key, and on pitch, they were in unison. There were several serious baby hams in the line up - big grins at the audience. Sometimes one would be a little behind the others in the many arm gestures (slapping their wings to the sides of the heads and calling out "Lost! Lost!"). Occasionally one would turn the wrong way or forget to leave the stage because they were so busy posing for the audience.

The audience ate it up.

I noticed more than one dad in the audience with bouquets of flowers for their young actor.

The Donkey, played by Harper Flynt and one of the young genies, played by Jessica Yost, Jared Yost, and Lexi Burke, were outstanding.

Penguins were played by Jossalyn Acacio, Rosie Cameron, Cedella Dean, Hartley Kropf, Jason Logan, Makenna Louch, Carly Lukson, Iris Sottile, Kaline Suiter, Molly Valderas, Hazel Zackey, and Noan Ziz.

Aladdin was played by Shane Baden, who, at the end, was successful in getting the Princess (Madison Lathrop) to go to the Prom with him.


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