‘Charlotte’s Web’ is old-fashioned family fun

By Lydia Pankratz
Times-News correspondent

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Courtney Cox stars as Charlotte in the Alamance Fine Arts Academy's production of "Charlotte's Web." [Kari Fox / Special to the Times-News

Alamance Fine Arts Academy has captured the essence of “Charlotte’s Web” in its stage production of the classic story.
The actors and actresses, ranging in age from 7 to 18, are engaging and well-chosen for their specific roles. The themes of friendship and selflessness are clearly portrayed throughout, and some hilarious scenes lighten up the show. The music definitely helps you “feel” the emotions in the story.
Logan Hodges stars as a dramatically funny and engaging Wilbur. His confidence is evident as he gives his character a humorous twist.
Courtney Cox stars as a graceful and calm “Charlotte” — just what you would imagine if you read the book by E.B. White.
Samuel Porter gives a well-executed portrayal of Templeton the rat. Rounding out the cast is several barnyard “animals” — a goose (Ellie Clark) and gander (Noah Troxler), and a sheep (Elisabeth Barr) and lamb (Gabby Denton). Noah Troxler (John Arable); Elisabeth Barr (Martha Arable): Shiloh Jones (Homer Zuckerman) and Katherine Holmes (Edith Zuckerman) make the Arables and Zuckermans hilariously believable. Elijah Troxler is on point as “Lurvy”, the Zuckerman’s hired hand.
Director Matthew Davidson realized that it would be impossible to capture each scene in the book, on stage, so some gaps are filled in by narrators. Simeon Hahn, Alexa Stubblefield and Katherine Holmes do a terrific job of keeping theatergoers up to speed on what is going on. Katherine Holmes has the ability to make you feel the joy, excitement, pain or sadness in the show.
   One of Alamance Fine Arts Academy’s twists on the original story is that Fern is a boy in this production, rather than a girl as in the book. Fern and Avery are actually played by brothers Blake and Seth Fox. Their real-life kinship definitely carries over to the stage.
All ages will enjoy this dramatic and fun rendition of “Charlotte’s Web.” This show will entertain you and probably inspire you to be a better friend. It’s good, old-fashioned, family friendly fun.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday (April 27, 2018) and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Alamance Fine Arts Academy, 355 S. Main St., Burlington. Tickets are $10 for adults (13 and up) and $5 for children 12 and under. Children under 2 will be admitted for free.

Lydia Pankratz is a home-schooled high school senior and a Teens & 20s writer.

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