If you saw “The Velveteen Rabbit,” tell me what you thought. Here’s education reporter Courtney Cutright’s take.
Theater review: Children bring toys to life in ‘Velveteen Rabbit’
The Roanoke Children’s Theatre’s production helps us reminisce about our old stuffed animals.
By Courtney Cutright
The Roanoke Children’s Theatre once again brings to life a beloved children’s book.
“The Velveteen Rabbit” was the first pick in the organization’s recently launched family book club called “Read It! See It!”
Artistic director Pat Wilhelms said 27 children joined the book club. Many attended last weekend’s Saturday matinee performance and stayed after the show for a discussion to compare and contrast the book and the play.
There were only a few empty seats at the show. Children of all ages were entertained by cardboard crowns of bunny ears distributed before the performance.
The show was more than 10 minutes late starting, which resulted in lots of anxiously squirming kids. But as soon as the show began, the musical snagged their attention and held it for the next 67 minutes.
The cast includes six adults and two groups of young actors — from public, private and home schools in the Roanoke Valley — who alternate shows.
The musical begins with main character Steve (played by Glen North) wishing his older brother would remember his birthday. Nineteen-year-old Steve is quickly whisked back to childhood with the help of many familiar toys, including Pinocchio, Jessie from the “Toy Story” series, G.I. Joe, bespectacled Waldo and lastly, a purple-haired troll in a pink tutu.