Thursday, August 15, 2013

Amazingly talented youngsters bring RCP's 'Flat Stanley' to life

The cast of  "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr."                                  Photos by Debbie Goshert

By Cheryl Thornburg

Mom and dad check out Stanley after he
becomes "flat."
Reading Community Players’ “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr.” is a well-rounded production showcasing the talents of young area actors ranging in age from 9 to 17. Based on the popular children’s book by Jeff Brown, it tells the story of Stanley Lambchop an ordinary ten-year-old who longs for adventure – and he gets it when a bulletin board falls on him and he wakes up “flat,” but otherwise unharmed. His new ultra-thin physique allows him to travel the world through the mail, setting the stage for somefun locales including Los Angeles, Hawaii and Paris.
The best thing about these “Junior” productions is that you get to see the great things that young people are doing and capable of, instead of what we see in newspapers and on TV on a daily basis.
The youngsters’ talent, dedication and enthusiasm is a reminder that there is hope not just for the future of live theater, but for the world.
Sharon Borkey
as Arthur
Bringing Flat Stanley to life is Nicholas Panase, 12, who will be going into 7th grade at Exeter Junior High this fall. He is a newcomer to local theater, but he is so at ease in this show that you’d think he was born on a stage. His singing and comedic acting is spot-on and there is no doubt we’ll be seeing lots more of him.
But the talent doesn’t stop there — his “family” members have singing and acting skills of their own Alex Goshert plays his mother, Pete Clauser, his dad and Sharon Borkey plays Arthur, his younger brother.  Alex is in 10th grade at Governor Mifflin, Pete is a junior at Exeter, and Sharon, at Schuylkill Valley Elementary.
The show has lots of vignettes, giving each of the cast members a chance to shine.
The scene at the Louvre when Stanley stops a thief from stealing a portrait of Napoleon (Betsy Lucas) and the Mona Lisa (Joanna Fielding) is clever and fun. Who knew that paintings can talk to each other while hanging on a museum wall?
Nina Botvin plays Mrs. Cartero, who acts as the story’s narrator and delivers Stanley to his destinations in ”Travelin’ Through the Mail” with Stanley and the ensemble.  Nina is in 5th grade in the Wyomissing schools.
Stanley visits Hawaii
The ensemble cast members play numerous roles from doctors to thieves to birds and more. Mastering these transformations are Darian Bornmann (4th grade, Muhlenburg), Qwyn Cephus , Joanna Fielding, (7th grade, Antietam), John Fielding IV (10th grade, Antietam), Reese Ganster (Reiffton Elementary), Betsy Lucas (Wyomissing Hills Elementary), Madison Kemp (Jacksonwald Elementary) and Samantha Pinero (Cumru Elementary).
The show is directed by Debbi Silas assisted by Julia Minotto.
The Lambchop family
The music is upbeat and catchy and the show is great family entertainment. If you’d like to take your kids or grandkids to a musical, this is a good place to start. Perhaps they will be inspired to try acting too.
The show continues this weekend at Reading Community at at 403 N 11th St., Reading.
Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows begin at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available by calling the theater at 610-375-9106 or . Free shuttle service is available from the parking lot at The Citadel on N. 12th Street.


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