Studio 1 presents ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.’

By Corinna Workman
Times-News correspondent 

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From left to right: Abbey Hopkins, Max McDonald, Izzy Kress, Heidi Baartz, Phillip Webb, Olivia Knighten, Edy Gardner and Sam McDonald star in Studio 1's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr." [Jennifer Gibbons / Special to the Times-News

Studio 1′s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.” features eccentric inventions, dastardly villains and a magical flying car.
Originally a record-breaking 1968 children’s film by Ken Hughes and Roald Dahl, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is a beloved story by families and children of all ages.
The play follows inventor Caractacus (Joshua Leiser) and his family as they collaborate to restore an old race car.
Caractacus and the children set out to Vulgaria, along with love interest Truly Scrumptious (Keriann Croy), to rescue the kidnapped Grandpa Potts (Nick Chester) and free the local children from their tyrannical, child-hating rulers.
Despite the production’s well-known storyline, Studio 1 manages to create a unique production that is more family friendly.
“It simplifies the story and moves it much faster than the original movie,” said director Tami Kress.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Sara McMillan Brown Theatre at Studio 1, Holly Hill Mall and Business Center, 309 Huffman Mill Rd., Burlington.
The cast members are all part of a two-week summer program at Studio 1.
“I started doing camps at Studio 1 about four years ago and it helps you with learning and focusing over a short period of time,” Chester said. “This summer camp is different because a regular show would take about three months, but with the camp it is all two weeks.”
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.” is filled with upbeat music by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman of “Mary Poppins” fame.
“There is a samba, a country hoedown and lots of fun musical and theater songs,” Kress said. “The music sticks in your head. It is fun and fast and the audience will leave singing the songs for the next week.”
The characters, Croy and Chester said, are relatable, too.
“I think everyone is going to love my character, Truly Scrumptious, because she is loving to the children, but has a touch of sassiness in her,” Croy said. “People who like puns will definitely enjoy the jokes surrounding her name in the show.”
Chester added that “I think my character will be comedic to the younger and older generations because I act like the classic ‘Get Off My Lawn’ grandpa.”
The cast has been able, in a short time, to collaborate and create a show they’re proud to present.
“The atmosphere (between cast members) is so wonderful. If I need help with a costume or a set piece, any cast member would be more than willing to assist. We have fun backstage while still focusing on the next scene of the play,” Croy said.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 336-534-0321.

Corinna Workman is a rising sophomore at Western Alamance High School and a Teens & 20s writer. 

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