LIVINGSTON -- The famous, high-flying car is ready for takeoff.
Gifted and talented students from the southeastern part of the parish are in the final stages of preparation for their production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.,” a condensed version of the classic film and musical about a magical, flying car.
Public performances for the play will be Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-9, at the Suma Crossing Theatre, located at 28975 South Satsuma Road, just off I-12 Exit 19 in Satsuma. The show begins each night at 7 p.m., and tickets are $10 apiece at the door.
The production will also be shown to area schools at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Students in the Talented Arts Program’s production are performing under director Melani Glascock, artistic director Sherry Martin, and musical director Tim Richardson. Aiding the directors are stage manager Bryce Felps, a junior at Maurepas, and assistant stage manager Julie Neyland, a senior at Doyle High.
The play, presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI), will be divided into two acts, Glascock said. Though the actual production runs about 2 ½ hours, Glascock said this production will cap out at 90 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.
“These versions [from MTI] are designed to introduce kids to productions they’ve probably never seen before,” Glascock said. “Most of these kids have never seen any of these, like ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and ‘Guys and Dolls,’ but when we did them, they fell in love.”
Glascock said she chose “Chitty” after seeing clips of it from last year’s Music Theatre International Junior Festival.
“I got to watch some of the performance online, and it just felt right,” she said. “It’s a movie that I watched as a kid, and I felt like the kids would have fun with it. It has lots of characters, which gives more kids the chance to be on stage. It’s not just two or three main parts — there are a lot of parts to go around. And it has a good storyline with good, fun characters.”
Not to mention a flying car, which will be performed by seven students playing various parts of the vehicle.
Set in 1910, “Chitty” follows the story of Caractacus (played by Holden student Wesley Hughes), who sets about restoring an old race car with the help of his children, Jeremy and Jemima (played by Doyle High students Easton Benesta and Alyssa McLin, respectively).
To their surprise, they discover the car has magical powers, which enables it to float and take flight, prompting the evil Baron (played by Doyle’s Drew Davis) and his equally wicked Baroness (Albany High’s Katie Miranda) to desire the car for themselves.
The family eventually teams up with Truly Scrumptious (Jessie Jemison) and Grandpa Potts (Daiten Fontenot) to outsmart the Baron and Baroness and their evil henchman, the Child Catcher (Kaydence Bagot).
Students auditioned for the play last November and began rehearsals “full force” Jan. 2, Glascock said. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.” will feature 15 scenes, nearly 20 songs, and many dance sequences throughout.
“I hope folks will come out and enjoy it,” Glascock said. “The kids worked hard, and it’s always a fun show.”
‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.’
When: Feb. 8-9, beginning at 7 p.m.
Where: Suma Crossing Theatre, located at 28975 South Satsuma Road, just off I-12 Exit 19 in Satsuma
Admission: $10 per ticket