Alamance Children’s Theatre presents ‘James and the Giant Peach’

By Abby Chester
Times-News correspondent

Alamance Children's Theatre will present "James and the Giant Peach." / Abby Chester, Times-News correspondent

Alamance Children’s Theatre kicks off its season with Roald Dahl’s classic chidren’s story, “James and the Giant Peach.”
Show times are 7 p.m. Oct. 7-8, 2 p.m. Oct. 9 and 7 p.m. Oct. 14-15 and 2 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Paramount Theater, 128 E. Front St., Burlington.
“This show is an adventure from beginning to end and with hilarious characters that are great for all ages,” said stage manager Emily Sledge.
James Henry Trotter (Wyatt Halleen) has to live with his two horrible aunts after his beloved parents are eaten alive by a wild rhinoceros. His aunts are cruel and never let James leave their ramshackle house at the top of a tall hill to go play with other children. As a result of this, James is lonely, but when he asks to do anything but work, his aunts beat him and call him an ungrateful child. Then, one scalding hot summer’s day, something peculiar happens to James that will change his life forever.
An old man comes up to James and gives him a bag full of magical creatures which are promised to make James never miserable again. However, in his excitement to get back to house, James trips and the creatures fall out and sink into the soil before James can catch them. Dejected, he trudges back to his two aunts and continues his work. Suddenly, his Aunt Spiker (Nora Grace Mckenzie) notices a peach growing on the withered old peach tree in the yard. James and his other aunt come to see it and to their surprise, it is steadily growing bigger and bigger and this is how the adventure begins.
Directed by Wayne Leonard, with cute and creative songs composed by Rachel Ealy (Cloud Man), this quirky and fun show symbolizes the meaning of friendship and never giving up hope, even when times are tough. James always looks on the bright side, even if some of his new invertebrate friends do not. The centipede (Joel Knudson) and the earthworm (Lenna Murfin) are pessimistic and doubt James whenever he gives them a plan to get out of a bad situation.
“They are all really nice, and so fun to work with. Everyone is so talented,” Ealy said.
With colorful costumes, lively characters and creative props, Leonard said the show is perfect for any age, especially young children. A rap about how horrible Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker are to James is a cast favorite.
“The rap is definitely my favorite. Joel is so funny, and the song always makes me laugh and hopefully the audience will, too,” Halleen said.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for students and seniors and can be purchased between noon and 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at the box office and one hour prior to show time. Credit card reservations can be made at 336-222-TIXS.

Abby Chester is a ninth-grader at Western Alamance High School and a Teens & 20s writer.

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