By Bob Evans
Get ready to overdose on charming when you go see Theatre for Young America’s newest production, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” at Kansas City’s Union Station on the lower level’s City Stage.
The endearing children’s story takes poetic license with the story and playwright/TYA founder added Goldilocks’ parents to the story to give added sparkle and story. Along with that comes a musical score by Cheryl Benge that young and old will enjoy along with several songs and dances, guaranteed to capture young viewers’ attention.
Count on Theatre for Young America to craft and present material targeted for the younger audiences and provide them performances geared to introduce and grow their live-theater experiences. Most shows contain bright costumes, song, dance, well-known characters and stories tailor-made for elementary students. The great part is seeing the shows through children’s eyes.
The first week of ‘Goldilocks’ was nearly sold out and subsequent shows are filling fast. Busloads of children come to see the shows daily, and the format suits the younger audiences just fine. In this case, “Goldilocks” extends a bit past the normal hour long format. It runs about 70-minutes with questions and answers afterward. Of course, the characters, still in costume, usher the theater-goers out at the end of the show and pose for cherished photos of their theater experience.
In this production of the classic, Goldilocks and her parents go on a camping trip to some nearby woods. That’s the new wrinkle of the story. Goldilocks wanders off and stumbles onto an empty cabin, belonging to a bear family. And, you know how that goes…”This chair’s too big; this chair’s too soft; this chair’s just right…” and so on.
But, for Mackey’s purposes the story alone needed more, so Goldilocks is missed by her parents. They look for her and encounter the bear family. Baby Bear and Goldilocks meet, play, and become friends. The story of being different and accepting others becomes an underlying message.
“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” needs to be seen if you want to introduce your child to good quality, professional productions by professional actors. TYA productions focus on quality programming for younger audiences.
The costumes are great, especially for the bears. The songs are delightful and lively. The dance is simple, yet perfect for kids to mimic after they leave the show. The bears are not scary. And, the show is just fun from beginning to end.
The cast for “Goldilocks and the Three Bears is: Kyra Weinberger as Goldilocks, Vigthor Zophonaisson as Mr. Human, Deanna Mazdra as Mrs. Human, R.H. Wilhoit as Papa Bear, Franci Witte as Mama Bear, Lily Nichols as Baby Bear. The creative team behind “Goldilocks and the Three Bears is: Book and lyrics by Gene Mackey, original music by Cheryl Benge, director, Valerie Mackey; stage manager, Alexandra Pilley; technical director/set designer, Eric Van Horn; costume designer, Valerie Mackey; education director, Sheryl Bryant; lighting designer, Kylor Greene and Shane Rowse; properties mistress, Mieke Westra; costume assistants, Zach Hampton, Sheryl Bryant.
City Stage, across from the concession area on the lower level of Union Station recently completed a renovation project that included new seats, lighting, and sound. The new amenities makes for better comfort for all theatergoers.
Tags: “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, Theatre for Young America, Union Station, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment. Kansas City Children’s Theater