Ring in the holiday spirit by catching a live performance of a classic story involving some familiar characters, minus the humbug. The Twin Beach Players out of North Beach, Maryland have staged a wonderful production of Babes in Toyland, adapted by Sid Curl (with additional dialog by Matthew Konerth and Valerie Heckart).
…fun and creative…
The story begins with several adorable elves and toys singing “Here Comes Santa Claus” followed by almost a roll call of several familiar nursery rhyme characters including Mother Goose (Jenny Liese, who narrates), Mother Hubbard and her many children who live in her shoe: Contrary Mary, Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, Little Miss Muffet, Simple Simon, Curly Locks, Boy Blue, Polly Flanders, Simple Simon, Roderigo (A.K.A. Tweedle Dee) an Gonzorgo (A.K.A. Tweedle Dum).
They all have their eloquent charm, and fulfill their namesake tales throughout the story. So, what could possibly go wrong with all of these sweet characters we have grown to adore? Well, life, of course. When poor Mother Hubbard (Jennifer Tyler) falls short in her mortgage payment to the evil landlord Barnarby (Justyn Christophel), his solution is to just have her hand over Contrary Mary (Victoria Mastando) to be his bride. None of the nursery rhyme characters will stand for it. So, they try to find a solution to pay back Barnaby.
Meanwhile, Barnaby is staging a plot of his own alongside the evil Master Toymaker (Olivia McClung) to create Horrid Toys and to get rid of Santa Claus, who is away on vacation. And, a new toymaker has come to own, a puppetmaker named Delancy Marmaduke (Sarah Rannacher), who also has eyes for Contrary Mary and his has teamed up with Roderigo (James Pike) and Gonzorgo (Tyler Will) to create new, incredible puppets to impress Santa Claus (Rob Heckart) and save Contrary Mary.
The staging was simple, with an impressive fold out toyshop that was just fun and creative and totally transformed the stage.
Kudos to directors Rob and Valerie Heckart in taking on the task of directing two separate casts in order to allow almost 60 children and a handful of adults to participate in their production. It was also nice to see some kids assisting
in technical roles. Travis Lehnen did an amazing job as stage manager and Caleb Petersen didn’t miss a beat as sound technician.
Babes in Toyland runs through December 14th at the North Beach Boys and Girls Club, located at 9021 Dayton Ave. North Beach, Md. 20714. Tickets are available for purchase online.