MADELINE’S CHRISTMAS AT A GLANCE
WHAT: presented by ACT UP!; Albany’s Junior Theatre
WHEN: Sunday, Nov., 22; shows at 2:30p.m. and 7p.m.
WHERE: Albany Municipal Auditorium
COST: Children $5, adults $10, dress circle $15. Tickets available at Maggie Moo’s and The Carriage Trade. Tickets at the door $10 general admission and $15 dress circle
ACT UP!, Albany’s Junior Theatre, is putting the final touches on a holiday treat for the whole family: “Madeline’s Christmas”. The musical by Jennifer Kirkeby, is based on the children’s classic book by Ludwig Bemelmans, and hits the stage at the Albany Municipal Auditorium this Sunday with shows at 2:30 p.m., and again at 7 p.m. The non-profit theatre company for area children has been bringing delightful programs to life for years, and Director Alicia Croxton is very busy, but excited about this year’s holiday offering, “It takes a lot of work by everyone, especially our young cast members. I’m very proud of all of them!”
The story opens as Miss Clavel takes her class on their morning walk, then back to school for French lessons, only to learn everyone is sick, except for the ever-resilient Madeline. Just when everyone thinks they will not be able to go home for the holiday, there is a magical knock on the door Christmas Eve, and the heartwarming adventure begins.
In the title role of Madeline is Katie Overstreet, a sixth-grader in the Excel program at Merry Acres Middle School. This is not Katie’s first stage performance for Croxton’s group. She has appeared in productions of “Bah Humbug”, “Dear Edwina”, “The Magic in Me”, “The Aristocats”, and “Annie Jr.”. Katie has been performing since she was even younger, in various productions at Lake Park Elementary School, including “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”, playing the leading role of Imogene Herdman. Katie is joined onstage by a cast ranging in ages from 6 to 17.
Miss Clavel is played by 15-year-old Brooks Anne Mitchell. Brooks is also an ACT UP! veteran, and has also performed with the Master’s Academy of Fine Arts productions of
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Trial of The Big Bad Wolf”. Twelve-year-old Dottie Ruth Mitchell, also a Merry Acres Excel student, plays Mrs. Murphy. Dottie has many ACT UP! credits including “Children’s Letters to God”, “Oz”, and “Annie Jr.”. Deerfield Windsor’s Hannah Stern has dual roles as Sasha and Madame Brun. Hannah has previously performed in the school production of “Fiddler on the Roof”, as well as the school’s one act, “Little Women the Musical”, going on to perform at the state and regional levels in the National Extemporaneous Speaking Competition, finishing second in the region.
Carstin Hasty plays Juliette. Carstin’s most recent performance was a Gretl in Theatre Albany’s “The Sound of Music”. Isabelle is played by Fallon Croxton. Fallon was in the Junior Theatre production of “School House Rock”, and was a singing doll in the Palladium Players’ presentation of “Big; The Musical”. Celia Croxton plays Domminique, and has appeared in many ACT Up! performances including, “The Aristocats,” “Children’s Letters to God”, and “Thumbelina”. Sherwood Christian Academy’s Emily Brunson takes on the part of Regine. She has appeared in several Junior Theatre productions, and was Louisa in Theatre Albany’s “The Sound of Music”. Emily is also currently rehearsing for SCA’s upcoming production of “Bah, Humbug”. Waverly Wahbeh is returning to the group as Camille, after her performance in “The Aristocats”. New to the stage in “Madeline’s Christmas” are Lillian Cromer, Micaela Knight, and Pate Hancock.
Croxton is co-directing “Madeline” along with Georgia Southwestern University student Casey Perkins. Perkins is also a yoga instructor at Darton and a veteran of area theatre including performances at Theatre Albany. He is also serving as the show’s stage manager. Erin Whatley, also enrolled at GSW, is the choreographer.
Advance tickets can be purchased a Maggie Moo’s or The Carriage Trade; $5 for kids, $10 for adults, and $15 for dress circle. You can also purchase tickets at the door on show day for $10 general admission, and $15 dress circle.
“We work hard to cover all our costs, and keep the ticket prices low so that more people in Albany can come and enjoy the experience of children’s theatre, especially the kids themselves,” said Croxton. “We want more of our young people in Albany to know that this is something they can do too.”
Croxton says that more shows are in development, including a special fund-raiser next year.