PLYMOUTH - If you could talk with the animals you’d be in good company at Plymouth High School this weekend as the Plymouth High School Theatre Department presents the musical Dr. Doolittle at the PHS Auditorium with a 6:30 p.m. showtime tonight and Saturday nights and matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The show will also be performed for all elementary students in the Plymouth Schools on Thursday and today during the day. The show has two completely different casts - a “Red” and “White” cast - to accommodate the number of theatre students wanting to be a part of the show
Dr. Doolittle is the central character in a series of children’s books written by Hugh Lofting. There have been several adaptations of the stories the most famous of which are the 1967 film starring Rex Harrison and a remake 1998 film starring Eddie Murphy. The stage musical adaptation was written by Leslie Bricusse in 1998.
Dr. Doolittle can speak to the animals and has a “team” of a few close human friends and animal friends that join in his adventures.
The children’s show at PHS has become an anticipated tradition with nearly all the current cast members gaining their first taste of the stage watching the show while in elementary school.
“You get to see these awesome people up there when you’re a little kid and it’s like everything you ever imagined comes alive up there,” said Shelby Pratt who plays Dr. Doolittle in the shows Red Cast.
“It’s really like a dream come true up onstage,” added Andria Shook who plays Dab Dab the Duck in the Red Cast. “When I was younger my older sister was in acting and that’s another reason I wanted to be in it. She always talked about how much fun it was.”
The show presents special challenges for the actors involved.
“The kids that have been in the show before understand the challenge,” said Charlotte Tyree, Director of the Show. “We want overacting. We want almost cartoon like characters. There has to be a villian that doesn’t scare little kids. Sometimes we have students who come in from beginning acting where they’ve gotten use to working on character development and classic pieces and then we throw at them dancing in a pig costume. It can be a challenge.”
Maybe the biggest challenge is what several of the main characters consider the highlight of this year’s show.
“They have to see Pushmi-Pullyu (played by Ellen Smith and Kristen Gergely in the Red Cast and Haley Stein and Megan Senter in the White) our two headed llama,” said Pratt
“You’ve never seen anything like it,” said Shook.
The Red Cast is:
Maura Faulstich, Ty Shively, Kate Peters, Ben Piazza, Madi Woods, Anna Piazza, Andria Shook, Blake Milliser, Alexx Shangreaux, Christian Radican, Courtney Edge, Elsy Mendoza, Ellen Smith, Kristen Gergely, Emily Arroyo, Hope Barrow, Peyton Clark, Ana Contreras, Stone Dalton, Miranda Dunn, Marissa German, Mikayla German, Amber Gonzalez, Makayla Harrison, Brianna Hayes, Emily Hopple, LeaAnna Miller, Kaitlyn Moore, Audrey Pratt, Yailin Rodriguez, Chandaire Schuler, Shannon Stephenson, Samuel Stone, Leticia Torres, Lucas Vervynckt, Natalie Wright, Ahmad Yasin, Simone Yates
The White Cast is:
Markee Farler, Clayton Lenig, Lauren Smith, Jenny Dudash, Faith Read, Sarah Puglisi, Abby Patrick, Alexis Moran, Kylee Rippy, Aimee Ringer, Moy Lopez, Bryce England, Haley Harrell, Haley Stein, Megan SenterHeston Blankenship, Veronica Cavinder, Valeria DiTizio, Brooke Falbe, Matthew Favorite, Diana Figueroa, Jennifer Figueroa, Jacob Lenburg, Allison Lyon, Brittine Martin, Mateo Mendrano-Risher, Emily Morris, Mariah Norwick, Katlyn Null, Rachel-Marie O’Brien, Elise Patrick, Elizabeth Polstra, William Sibal, Jillian Smith, Travis Tredway, Olivia Wendel, Kierra Willis, Lauren Winkler
Lights - Denis Watson
Sound - Jordan Knapp, Ryan MacLain
Wing Managers - Adam Lacefield, Emily Blake, Bellinda Bottorff
Backstage Crew - Brittany Banks, Amanda Bottomly, Riley Cartwright, Zachary Craft, Emily Denney, Alyssa Egierski, Daniel Flynn, Marcus Gunderson, Faith Hilty, Ike Kastner, Scott Lee, Matthew Pearson, Melissa Pedavoli, Marcos Rodriguez, Austin Rose, Levi Schuler, Abigail Schumacher, Luke Schumacher, Victoria Shortt, Jeannie Spear, Vicente Vasquez, Brandon Zehner.