WHITEHALL — The actors of the White Lake Youth Theatre this summer will raise quite a ‘Stinky’ at Howmet Playhouse.
WLYT’s 2016 offering for the playhouse’s Summer Theatre Festival will be “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.”
The show running July 28-30 at the historic playhouse, 304 S. Mears, is a selection of fractured fairy tales.
Adapted by playwright John Gore from the children’s book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, the show takes on — and has more than a bit of fun with — such familiar stories as “Chicken Little” and “The Gingerbread Man.”
“The Stinky Cheese Man … ” includes such characters as Goosey Loosey, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, Cocky Locky, a Giant, Little Red (of Riding Hood fame) and, as might be presumed, Stinky Cheese Man.
“The Stinky Cheese Man … ” is being directed by Heather McCallum, the administrator of education for Muskegon Civic Theatre.
“ ‘The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales’ is a show unlike any other,” McCallum said. “I’ve been involved with many ‘page to stage’ productions in the past, and this one outshines them all. It’s well written, stays true to the book, and allows for creativity among the cast.”
McCallum’s cast includes Adrienne Murr, Aiden Dykman, Alison Mastee, Ashley Erdman, Braley Johnson, Caleb Spicklemire, Casey Gould, Erin Kanaar, Haley Tolan, Holly Gould, Jack Zwemer, Jacy Harsch, Jasmine Broton, Jonathan Erwin, Katie Trusty, Lucy Byam, Lucy, Azmojcin, Madelyn Stembol, Madison Bishop, Miracle Batka, Miriam Murr, Natalie Reid, Olivia Stembol, Rylan Bernhardt, Shelbie Noel, Tianna Smith, Carlee Castle and Carson Tank. Most of the students are from West Michigan, though one hails from Kentucky.
“To see them come together to create this show is spectacular,” McCallum said.“The coolest element for me, so far, has been the surprising amount of musical talent the kids have.
“While the majority of the music for the show isn’t taxing, the opening number – Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus in traditional four-part harmony – is a huge undertaking for a cast of 8-18 year olds. After a run through at our last rehearsal, Aiden Dykman, our Prince, exclaimed, ‘We sound amazing!’” I will never tire of watching kids surprise themselves with their own success.”
Youngsters also are involved off stage, according to playhouse Managing Director Beth Beaman. Four students have been working with experienced technicians to help build and paint sets, and design and run lights and sound.
That bodes well for the future of the playhouse that opened in 1916 and this year is celebrating its centennial.
“Not only is the youth theatre program a great opportunity for kids who want to perform,” Beaman said, “but it’s also a way we can train our future technical crews.”
Forty-two-year-old White Lake Youth Theatre has been part of almost half of Howmet Playhouse’s 100-year history.
It was founded in 1974, opening with a production of the musical “Finian’s Rainbow.”
WLYT performs one production during each annual Summer Theatre Festival.
Performances of “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” are 7:30 p.m. July 28 and 30, and 3 p.m. July 29.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students.
For reservations, visit the playhouse’s web site, http://www.howmetplayhouse.org; or the box office at the playhouse.
The box office of the playhouse is open weekdays from 1-5 p.m., and one hour before show times.