Peterborough Players Second Company Players Hanna Aicholtz as Spider, Tori Sicklick as Grasshopper, Will Champion as James, Evan McReddie as Worm, Pedro Kaawaloa as Centipede and Mikaela Edelman as Lady Bug in James and the Giant Peach. Photo by Will Howell

By Eve Fisher

Your Local Court Jester

PETERBOROUGH –The Peterborough Player’s Second Company premiered its musical version of James and The Giant Peach Saturday.

As I was growing up, James and the Giant Peach was one of my favorite stories. I would watch the movie, my mom would read me the book, it was one of those stories that’s really stuck with me as I’ve grown up. So it made me really happy when I saw the same story being told in such an incredibly fun and creative way at the Players Monday night.

The musical is Based on the Roald Dahl book and dramatized by Richard R. George. The story follows James Henry Trotter (Will Champion) who, after his parents are stampeded by a rhino, goes to live with his terrible Aunt Sponge (Hope Milne) and dreadful Aunt Spiker (Brett Lawlor). But after getting a bag of magic from an old man, he drops all the contents onto the roots of a peach tree in the yard. The magic makes a peach grow to a ginormous size, as well as makes a Spider, a Grasshopper, a Centipede, a Ladybug, a Worm, a Silkworm, and a Glow worm (which is actually just a firefly without wings) grow to the size of people. James leaves his life of being poorly treated by his aunts and goes on adventures with the insects inside the peach traveling an ocean in it.

Even though I know the story well, this show made it feel fresh and fun to me. And it was definitely a treat for the kids and really engaged them, using audience participation which featured the kids booing, hissing, and cheering on cue from the characters.

And you definitely don’t want to miss this show as it has all original songs written for the Players production by Pedro Kaawaloa, who also played the Centipede (which was and still is my favorite character and the one I’ve always related to).

I also loved that there was a piano right in the middle of the stage that actor’s on stage would use to accompany a song during a scene. Its a very musically talented cast, the actor’s accompaniment also included trombones, ukulele, and a violin of course played by the Grasshopper (Tori Sicklick). This gave the musical theatre geek in me some Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 vibes and it made the show feel really intimate and fun.

This is definitely a great show for the kids and adults bringing them, who will definitely get a kick out of it as well. I wouldn’t miss it. It’s definitely anything but, to reference one of the great songs from the show,  “Awkward.”

James and the Giant Peach opened Saturday and has Friday and Saturday shows at 2 p.m.

This is the second and final Second Company show that the Players will produce this summer. Single tickets are $8 for children and $10 for adults. The box office can be reached at (603) 924-7585 or visit www.peterboroughplayers.org.

The Peterborough Players is located at 55 Hadley Rd in Peterborough.

Your Local Court Jester, Eve FIsher, lives in Peterborough.

Singer. Dancer. Actress. Writer. Comedian. Entertainer.

Fluent in sarcasm. Sweet as a lemon. Lover of Moxie.