Stage review: 'Amelia Bedelia' will delight kids

Published: Wednesday, March 12 2008 12:26 a.m. MDT

"COME BACK, AMELIA BEDELIA," through March 29, SCERA's Theatre for Young Audiences (801-225-2787 or www.scera.org), running time: one hour, five minutes

If the theater's heavy smell of Skittles, buttered popcorn and orange soda doesn't put you in a happy mood, perhaps the SCERA's Theatre for Young Audiences' production of "Come Back, Amelia Bedelia" will.

This zany production comes from books by Peggy Perish. The main star, Amelia Bedelia, is very literal minded. Hence, she is constantly getting into mischief, which, in turn, gets her fired from every job.

Amelia's redeeming factor is she can cook. Her best recipes include cookies, cream puffs and cocoa.

Amelia (Heather Jones) is just about as kooky as they come. If you were to say, "It is raining cats and dogs," she would be looking for neighborhood pets falling from the sky. If you said, "How about a handshake?" Amelia would shake her own hands. Get the picture?

The SCERA production is obviously directed at young children, and the audience was full of them opening night. While there was polite clapping and occasional giggles, the children were quietly mesmerized by the over-the-top antics onstage.

The cast consists of six members with all but Jones carrying several parts. While some scene changes are a bit sluggish (no, they don't punch you), the majority of the show moves rapidly, thanks to Jones' spunky character interpretation.

Cast members could take a lesson from Jones on how to ham up a scene. Sometimes Jones seems to be the only actress onstage when she is definitely not alone. Jones was so fun to watch that the children barely noticed some of the production's opening-night foibles.

Members of the troupe include Marie Sharon, Janet Greenhalgh, Emily Robinson, Jim Malone and Shellee Mansfield.

During the week, "Come Back, Amelia Bedelia," offers daily matinees to area schools. It is a great family activity on Monday and Friday evenings and the Saturday matinee.

Sensitivity rating: Children 4 years and older will enjoy this show. Adults may have a hard time but can usually endure the hour.


E-mail: pugmire@desnews.com

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