Want to go?
WHAT: “Angelina Ballerina The Musical”
WHEN: 7 p.m., Friday Oct. 26
WHERE: Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
COST: $10 children, $15 adults
INFO: Call 419-626-1950 or visit www.sanduskystate.com
For any parent of preschool-age girls, odds are you know – or better know – PBS KIDS’ popular CG-animated series “Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps.” Just as Bob the Builder captures the imaginations of 3-year-old boys, Angelina Ballerina has become the hottest show of late in the all important 5-year-old and under demographic.
Now the television show, which is based on the critically-acclaimed story books created by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig, has been turned into a live theater show “Angelina Ballerina The Musical,” and is coming to the Sandusky State Theatre this Friday, Oct. 26.
When it recently came time to make a stage version of the children’s show, that task went to New York City’s Vital Theatre Company, which has a mission of creating engaging and enlightening family productions.
“The big issue was, do we want the characters to be actually fully costumed like you see in a Barney show or to be actors playing characters?” Said Vital Theatre Company Artistic Director Stephen Sunderlin. “Our thing as theater people is, kids have just the most vast imagination. If you pretend with a child they will go with you, so we ended up with actors because they sing live musical theater.
“Beyond that, it’s just staying true to who Angelina is. She’s just a very precocious young girl who loves to dance. She’s a child, she’s not perfect at everything she does but she tries very hard. And I think maintaining that innocence and kind of the ambition of a child was important.”
“Angelina Ballerina The Musical” finds the lead character and her friends Alice, Gracie, AZ and Viki excited about a special guest making an upcoming visit to Camembert Academy. The girls want to perform all types of dance, including hip-hop, modern dance, the Irish jig and of course, ballet, but naturally there’s a hurdle. Angelina will take the audience on a journey to overcome this conflict.
Sunderlin said, “While we want to entertain and engage the audience, we also want to teach a lesson that sometimes you can’t always get what you want and when you don’t, how do you make that better?”
The Vital Theatre Company Artistic Director said since the 2009 debut of “Angelina Ballerina The Musical,” the children’s theater production has been a massive hit. In fact, it even moved to an off-Broadway Theater where it still plays for large audiences.
As for the upcoming Sandusky performance, naturally audience participation is encouraged. So does that mean we’ll see plenty of little girls dressed in tiaras, tutus and dance shoes?
“Absolutely, please dress up,” Sunderlin said. “It’s an event. Some kids just you can’t help them. They won’t take the tutus off. We’ve had whole families dress up.”
Wait, does that include dads too?
“Not too many dads wearing tutus and tiaras,” Sunderlin laughed. “But we do see a lot of dads showing up.”
Funcoast is giving away 20 free tickets to the “Angelina Ballerina the Musical.” All you have to do is text the word FUN to 41948 and you’ll be entered to win. If you’re already signed up to receive FUN texts then it’s even easier to win tickets because you’re already in the drawing.