In 2012, I had the pleasure of attending 17 musicals and plays with casts made up of teens and children. Some were put on at their schools, while others were produced by summer theatre camps. Upcoming actors and actresses had their chance to shine in a wide variety of productions. After much consideration, here is my top ten list. You can click the title of the production to read my original review.
10. The Scarlet Pimpernel - The teens at Chase, including lots of young men, tackled a challenging piece and pulled it off.
9. You Can't Take It With You - The theatre students at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School (WAMS) did a great job with this fun comedy.
8. The Beautiful Empire of Ordinary Kings - Warner Theatre Center for Arts Education teens did a wonderful job with this original musical by Isabelle Carrington.
7. Once On This Island - The students at Woodland High School launched this colorful, happy tale and featured a young Little Ti Moune played by the adorable little daughter of the director.
6. Legally Blonde - The girls at Westover School get extra points for covering almost all of the male roles.
5. The Wizard of Oz - Curtain Call Kids' production of this classic featured an amazing Dorothy and Connor Barth as the perfect Cowardly Lion.
4. Bye Bye Birdie - Whimsicality's show was fun for everyone and Zach Carter's Mae Peterson was a hoot.
3. Disney's 101 Dalmations Kids - Many, many Haddam-Killingworth middle schoolers were adorable in the Disney classic and Cruella DeVille and her henchmen were perfectly nasty.
2. Les Miserables - The students at Taft were impressive in the beloved musical.
1. Tied for first place are the two show produced by Naugatuck Teen Theatre: Seussical The Musical and Much Ado About Nothing. The musical and Shakespeare's comedy could not be more different, but both were impressive.
Congratulations to all the talented young people involved in these wonderful shows. Special thanks to all the dedicated adults who worked with them for helping to keep the arts alive in our community.