The Emery High Theatre Department will perform the fun-filled musical “James and the Giant Peach” on Nov. 21, 22, 23 and 25 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday), 2019. This rollicking show with a huge piece of fruit will start at 7 p.m. each evening and will be in the Emery High auditorium. Admission is $5 per adult and $3 for students with children five and under entering for free. The musical play lasts about 1 hour and 20 minutes and is fun for both kids and adults alike.
The musical version of “James and the Giant Peach” is taken from the book of the same name by the author Roald Dahl. The story is set in England and a young boy James, played by Taylor Durrant, has been orphaned when a rhino escapes from the London Zoo and tramples his parents. He is first put into an orphanage and then is sent to live with his two great-aunties who are some of the meanest, most vile, wicked, lazy and extremely rude con artists in all of Dover, England. The aunties, Spiker and Sponge, are played by Callie Cordner and Brynne Urie. They adopt James to do the work around the house and yard.
A very sad James then runs into a strange man, Lahdalord, played by Anthony Reid who promises James that his dreams can come true through magic. Together, they make a magic potion. Unfortunately, James spills it on an old dead peach tree and on the insects that live there. The tree grows a huge peach; in fact, a giant peach. James finds his way inside the peach and discovers that the bugs that were affected by the poison have now grown to human size and have the ability to speak. Unbelievable? Not if you’re Roald Dahl. The insects are play by Jordynn Wolford (Earthworm), Matthew Seely (Grasshopper), Megan Hess (Ladybug), Jaron Hansen (Centipede) and September Fausett (Spider).
The peach is so big that it breaks loose from the tree, rolls down the countryside and over the cliffs of Dover into the ocean. From there, the peach, insects and James float towards America only to face many adventures and perils including starvation, sharks, seagulls and, worst of all, those two vicious, bombastic, crude and generally not very nice aunties who are hunting down their peach in the hopes of making money from it. They all end up in New York City where the play is completely resolved to the satisfaction of all – except the aunties.
The play is directed by Neal Peacock with Ammon Sorenson as assistant director and Marilee Cox as musical director. McKette Sitterud created the choreography while Melanie and Jeff Jensen designed and made the scenery, including the biggest peach ever seen on the Emery High stage.
As was noted, the story of James and the Giant Peach comes from the book by Roald Dahl. The words and music for this musical version are by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The book (script) is by Timothy Allen McDonald. So, come and have as much fun as you can have with a peach – outside of Ferron Peach Days.