By Jennifer Mustoe
I grew up watching Disney‘s Peter Pan and was interested how Creekside Theatre Fest‘s Tinker Bell would stack up. I brought my granddaughters Lucy–6, and Hazel–2.5. So this review reflects not just what I as a reviewer saw. This is what the girls say, too.
The show begins with a shower, and I mean A SHOWER of glitter. And this isn’t any old glitter. This stuff, according to Hazel, has, “Green and blue and red.. and all the colors!” Folks, Creekside brings it with the glitter and how better to start a show about kids for kids?
The star of the show, Tinker Bell, played with spunk and Tink’s self-absorbed tendencies by Miriam Wessendorf, creates an atmosphere that is sheer excitement, merriment, and a little tiny bit of–brattiness? Wessendorf is spot on for the whole one-hour show, never breaks character, and her actions and movements are beguiling. When she asks everyone to clap if we believe in fairies, to coin a phrase, the crowd went wild. Hello world! We DO believe in fairies!
Joleah Long plays Captain Hook, and she nails it. Strutting out in leather pants, high laced black boots, and a sneer on her face, Long convinces us that Hook is a no-good pirate in every way. Her interactions with the cast are heavy-handed because Hook is a heavy-handed character. My Hazel said she didn’t like Hook, that he was scary, and that’s how Hook is supposed to be, right? (Note: Long also plays in First Daughter Suite that I reviewed last week and does a fantastic job in her role as Susan Ford.)
The boy who never wants to grow up, Peter Pan, played by Clark Heinrich wields his sword against Hook when he is The Fighter, plays with the Lost Boys when he is The Boss, and crows when he is just being the boy who yearns to stay young. Heinrich romps around the stage with flair and fun. My kids liked him a lot.
Jenessa Ihrig as Smee is the narrator and has the most to say. She is engaging and her physical comedy keeps the audience laughing. There is no lag when Ihrig is in charge, and she is in charge all the time. Her bit with the bags at the beginning of the show made her a favorite with all of us.
Katie Rowley‘s Wendy is done without any of the pedantic smarm that bored me to death in the Disney film. Rowley is funny and grabs any gag she can get, to our delight. I liked her right off and her fun yet caring way she portrays Wendy made us glad whenever she is onstage.
The ensemble, however, needs an award for the most characters played in one short one-hour play. They are in this hat and those pants and that pair of pale blue long johns. I loved them all and though at the beginning I wanted to keep track of who was who, I stopped and just enjoyed the ride. Ensemble actors are: Kayli Tombarge, Bevan Carr, Alaina Hall, and Kylie Christensen.
The production crew: Director Jordan Long, Stage Manager Harmony Brown, Set Designer Brian Hadfield, Costume Designer Jan Shelton Hunsaker, Sound Designer Zac Bringhurst and Maren Hansen, and Light Designer Z. Bringhurst pack a pretty big punch in this cute little show. I must mention the crocodile is awesome.
I asked Lucy what her favorite thing about the show (besides the glitter of course) and she said, “Tinker Bell.” I think we all loved that spunky, snippy fairy who just wants a friend. Tink is the character I think I most identify when I don’t get my way. I want to go all Tinker Bell and stomp and scream and march away. But I don’t (most of the time). Maybe I, like Peter Pan, sometimes feel like I don’t want to ever grow up either.
Creekside Theatre Fest presents Tinker Bell, by Patrick Flynn.
Liahona Preparatory Academy, 2464 W 450 S, Pleasant Grove, UT 84062
Monday, Friday and Saturday through July 1, 2023 6:00 PM–one hour with no intermission
Tickets: $10 for children/seniors, $15 for adults
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