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'The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley' brings children's book to life

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17 2012 3:24 p.m. MDT

Shawn M. Mortenson is Flat Stanley and Samantha Frisby is Mrs. Cartero in "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" at the SCERA Center for the Arts as a Theatre for Young Audiences production.

Mark A. Philbrick

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"THE MUSICAL ADVENTURES OF FLAT STANLEY"; SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 S. State, Orem; directed by Julie Nevin; 7 p.m. Mondays and Fridays through Nov. 2; tickets $6 for adults, $4 children; running time one hour, no intermission.

OREM — "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" is a different sort of production based on the character in the children's books who is accidentally flattened after he wishes for cool things to happen in his life.

Stanley (played nicely by Shawn M. Mortenson) goes about the world via the Postal Service since he can now fit nicely into an envelope, and his "adventures" include playing a surfboard in a movie and standing in for a valuable painting in the Louvre.

His one-dimensional status doesn't really bother him or his parents much, but it allows him to do things — like fly in the sky like a kite — that otherwise he wouldn't be doing.

He learns a couple of valuable lessons through his adventures. He values his simple life with his brother more when he returns.

There are a few scenes that are fairly entertaining, particularly the scene in the art museum when the paintings come to life and talk to Stanley. (Veteran actor/director Jerry Elison makes a humorous Napoleon. He also makes a funny, hard-of-hearing doctor.)

The set is a versatile one with a talking bulletin board and a giant Eiffel Tower.

The costuming actually takes the featured role in this production as Stanley's outfit has to make him appear flat without him actually being squished.

The numerous musical ditties are generally fun and light as the characters celebrate various changes in the Lambchop family's life.

Everyone in the cast does a nice job, with Samantha Frisby playing a number of roles, including the postal carrier, Mona Lisa and Bakine Wahini, and Marshall Madsen playing the bulletin board, the Hollywood agent, O. Jay D'art and Herb Wavecrest.

Cathryn Frisby is Mrs. Lambchop and Mark Pulham is Stanley's dad with Andy Walsh playing Stanley's brother Arthur.

It's a simple show, blessedly short and mildly entertaining. You might want to take the youngsters.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@desnews.com

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