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Lorain County Community College - Stocker Arts Center
United States
Ohio
Elyria, OH
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'Angelina Ballerina The Musical' a Delight for Children of all Ages

by Steve Sucato
September 19, 2013
Lorain County Community College - Stocker Arts Center
1005 N Abbe Rd
Elyria, OH 44035
(440) 366-4040
Steve Sucato is a former dancer turned arts writer/critic. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Dance Critics Association and Associate Editor of ExploreDance.
Excitement was brewing at Camembert Academy because a very special guest was coming to visit and the dance students at the academy would be performing for them. No one was more excited about this than Camembert's spunkiest student mouse Angelina Ballerina because that special guest was her idol, prima ballerina Serena Silvertail. That was the premise behind award-winning Vital Theatre Company's production of Angelina Ballerina The Musical, based on the popular children's book series about the fictional mouse by Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig.

Vital's farewell tour of the musical opened September 19 in Elyria, Ohio at Lorain County Community College's Stocker Arts Center to a modest but appreciative audience of mostly wide-eyed preschoolers and their guardians.

The 60-minute show with book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo and music by Ben Morss was a delight from the outset and was spot on in its approach to capturing the attention of preschool and early elementary school aged children.

In it, Angelina's teacher Miss Mimi (Grace Olson-Davidson) announces that there will be limited signups for the various styles of dance students would perform for Serena Silvertail (Taylor Gordon) the next day. Angelina and her fellow mouse classmates including best friend Alice (Elizabeth Bays), hip hop dancer AZ (Jonathan Ramos), tapper Viki (Tiffany Wiesend), and French modern dancer Gracie (Meghan Ginley) all plan to get to school early to sign up.

Predictably, Angelina oversleeps and misses the sign up for her namesake, ballet which provides the impetus to inject life lessons into the musical such as being accepting of when things don't go your way, the role of friends in crisis and the importance of following one's heart.

The story then played out with Angelina and friends trying to figure out what other dance styles Angelina could perform other than ballet (each offering her a place in their dance routine) and Angelina with the help of her patient and caring father (Grant Bowen) and a dream version of Serena Silvertail coming to terms with her situation and making the best of it; ultimately leading to her becoming the star of the student show.

New Hampshire-native Abby Hart (Hairspray, Guys and Dolls, Grease) was brilliant in the lead role of Angelina. Her perky personality, animated mannerisms and Cartoon character voice embodied the character and captured the hearts of those in attendance.

Also of note was the dancing of Gordon as Serena making the most of the simple musical theater style ballet choreography.

Catchy tunes, some inspirational and educational messages along with solid performances by the entire cast made it a children's production well worth seeing.

Angelina Ballerina The Musical Tour Dates

September 19th – Stocker Arts Center, Lorain County Community College Elyria, OH @ 9:45 & 11:45
September 21st – Valentine Theatre, Toledo, OH @ 1pm & 4pm
October 5th – Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY @ 11am & 3pm
October 10th – Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ @ 4pm
October 11th – Harford Community College, Bel Air, MD @ 7pm
October 13th – Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, NJ @ 1:30pm & 4pm
Oct 17th – Saenger Theatre, Hattiesburg, MS@ 3pm & 7pm
October 20th – Eisemann Center, Richardson, TX @ 2:30pm
October 22nd – The Clarion, Lake Jackson, TX @ 9:30am & 6:30pm
October 27th – Abilene Cultural Affairs, Abilene, TX @ 2pm
October 30th – November 3rd – Austin Playhouse, Austin, TX
Nov 10th – Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, Coralville, IA @ 1pm & 4pm
November 15th – Dona Ana & Rio Grande Theatre, Las Cruses, NM @ 3pm
November 30th – Gallo Canter for the Arts, Modesto, CA @ 2pm & 4pm
December 4th – Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, CA @ 9:30am & 6:30pm
December 7th & 8th – Joy & Happiness Events, Santa Cruz, CA @ 11am & 1pm

More information at angelinaballerinathemusical.com.
The current cast of 'Angelina Ballerina The Musical'. Photo courtesy of Taylor Gordon

The current cast of "Angelina Ballerina The Musical". Photo courtesy of Taylor Gordon


Taylor Gordon as Serena Silvertail in 'Angelina Ballerina The Musical'. Photo courtesy of Taylor Gordon.

Taylor Gordon as Serena Silvertail in "Angelina Ballerina The Musical". Photo courtesy of Taylor Gordon.


(r. to l.) Amber Coartney as Viki, Amanda Yachechak as Gracie, Eric Restivo as AZ, Whitney Meyer as Angelina Ballerina and Amy White as Serena Silvertail in a scene from 'Angelina Ballerina The Musical'. Photo courtesy of Sun Production, Inc.

(r. to l.) Amber Coartney as Viki, Amanda Yachechak as Gracie, Eric Restivo as AZ, Whitney Meyer as Angelina Ballerina and Amy White as Serena Silvertail in a scene from "Angelina Ballerina The Musical". Photo courtesy of Sun Production, Inc.

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