The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail
Organization Sutter Street Theatre
Date(s) of show December 14-29, 2013
Reviewer Gerry Camp

It’s Christmas Eve in the Hundred Acre Wood, but Eeyore, the “Ol’ Gray Donkey,” is really unhappy. Of course Eeyore is usually unhappy, but this is worse than usual. In Sutter Street Theatre’s Winnie-The-Pooh Christmas Tail, it seems that Eeyore (Angie Reed) has somehow lost his tail.  How can he enjoy Christmas with his tail missing?

Coming to Eeyore’s rescue are the ever loyal Winnie-The-Pooh (Madeline Kramer) and his best friend Piglet (Amanda Ramos). They promise to search the Wood until they find the missing tail. They advise Eeyore, in the perky song, to “Think Yourself Up,” but he’s too “down” to take their advice.

Soon Pooh and Piglet are joined by the other Wood dwellers, including Rabbit (Aurora Rose Giacobbe) and Tigger (Kiley Link).  Rabbit, as usual , wants to take charge (“It’s a Captainish Sort of Day”), and Tigger can’s stop jumping and bouncing and running, crashing into everyone else. He has the best song in the show, “What Tiggers Do Best.”

Soon Kanga (Jessica Dardarian) comes along with her baby, Roo, who in this version is a realistic and cleverly animated hand puppet she holds in her arms. Roo has very real looking head movements, and Kanga has to continually tell him to stop jumping. So everyone is off, dancing and singing as they go, to all the usual places.

Is the mystery solved? Well, it is a Christmas Tail, isn’t it? The solution comes when they decide to visit Owl (Grace Righton) to ask for advice.  Let me just say you will be totally surprised at where the tail turns up!

This delightful Christmas story, directed with lively songs and dances by Allen Schmeltz with choreography by Cassidy Cagney, is a winner for children of all ages. I haven’t mentioned my favorite character, the only “human” in the show, Christopher Robin, played by Benjamin Matta. Matta stands out from the others in his bright yellow slicker and boots, being shorter than his animal friends (if we don’t count Roo), and being the only boy in the cast. His wonderful voice stands out as well. But I’m being unfair singling out Matta because the singing by all of the characters is excellent. There are only a few solos, but the ensemble singing fills the theater.

And I must call attention to the imaginative animal costumes, created by Eileen Beaver, and the lively musical direction by SharonWelling, and played by John Wilder.

The Folsom theater scene offers an abundance of goodies this season. There is FreeFall Stage’s hilarious Charlie Brown Christmas, Sutter Street’s annual musical extravaganza Holiday in the Hills, and now this song and laughter filled Christmas classic. Bring the children and see one, two, or all three and your family holiday fun will surely be enhanced.

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