By Cari Lynn Pace
If you had the option of living forever, would you?
Tuck Everlasting at Spreckels’ Codding Theatre brings just such a question to the stage, wrapping it in songs, dance and glorious costumes.
The story begins with Winnie Foster, an 11-year old (enchantingly enacted and sung by Molly Belle Hart) chafing at the restrictions her widowed mother (Erin Henninger) imposes. When Winnie runs away from home into the surrounding forest, she encounters Jesse Tuck, a young man of 17 (good-looking and great voiced Nico Alva.) He can live forever but she cannot, unless she drinks from the forest’s magic spring.
…a fun-filled show filled with energy…
Many interesting scenarios are raised in this production, admirably handled by the creative team of director Emily Cornelius, music director Janis Dunson Wilson, and choreographer Karen Miles.
There were “ooohs” and “aaahs” as the audience took their seats in the Codding Theatre – the stage a lush forest with twittering birds and leafy trees climbing the walls. Kudos to Eddy Hansen and Elizabeth Bazzano for designing an amazing tree that grows before our eyes. Further visual treats were the rear projection scenes, designed by Chris Schloemp, who enables the audience to climb above the forest canopy with Winne and Jesse. Schloemp also has a solid supporting role onstage as Constable Joe.
Tuck Everlasting is a treat for eyes and ears, with more than a dozen dancing nymphs in flowing costumes (thanks to Donnie Frank) and an onstage orchestra led by Wilson. The scenery and over-the-top activity during the brightly colorful fair sequence is a three-ring circus indeed.
Local casting is spot-on, with favorite Tim Setzer as “The Man in the Yellow Suit,” a would-be exploiter of the eternal spring, and veteran actor Larry Williams as the laid-back Tuck patriarch Angus. What a pleasure to see and hear Kimberly Kalember as Nana and young Chase Thompson as Hugo. Mother Tuck is in superbly fine voice as played by Tika Moon, and Samuel J. Gleason as Miles Tuck brings a poignancy to the plot as he relates the story of his wife and son – no spoiler here.
A big shout-out to young dancer Tyler Ono, whose athletic moves onstage are a delight to watch. He’s part of a shining cadre of teens who not only dance with supple grace but sing as well. Their Act I ensemble song “Partner in Crime” was a real crowd pleaser. Too bad there weren’t any more memorable songs delivered by songwriters Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen.
Tuck Everlasting is a fun-filled show filled with energy – perfect for teens and older. The philosophical thought it provokes isn’t over at the end of two hours…it’s everlasting.
ASR Writer & Editor Cari Lynn Pace is a voting member of SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and writes theatre and lifestyle reviews for the Marinscope Community Newspapers throughout Marin County. Contact: email@example.com
From the novel by
|Claudia Shear & Tim Federie
|Directed by||Emily Cornelius|
|Producing Company||Spreckels Performing Arts|
|Production Dates||Through May 21st|
|Production Address||Spreckels Performing Arts Center
5409 Snyder Lane
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
|Tickets||$12 - $36|
|Reviewer Score||Max in each category is 5/5|
|Aisle Seat Review Pick?||YES!|