Matchbox Children’s Theatre opens play

Published 2:03 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

Leland Bissinger as Mr. Specky Green and Lukas Howard as Tad Pole during an afternoon presentation of "Meet the Three Goats Gruff" by the Matchbox Children's Theatre for area students at the Paramount Theatre Thursday. The play opens for the public tonight starting at 7 p.m. with 2 p.m. presentations Saturday and Sunday. -- Eric Johnson/

There’s a world of fantasy coming to life at the Paramount Theatre this weekend. It’s not the fantasy you might expect, however. This fantasy has lost boys, billy goats, tall trolls, hunting frogs and a bellhop mouse named Dickey running around in madcap action.

Matchbox Children’s Theatre will present “Meet the Three Goats Gruff,” this weekend. A vaudeville-style comedy, the players promise quick wit and even quicker jokes, chases and overdramatic humor in the style of a silent movie.

“It’s not just a 3-year-old kind of show,” said Madlain Vander, director. “We’re playing with silent movie over-drama and so far, people get so caught up in this show.”

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The play revolves around a cast of fabled and fairy tale misfits who gather at Mr. Fox’s hotel in the 1910s, right when the silent film era is taking off. From the three billy goats to Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan to Dorothy and Toto, there’s stars in the making just looking for their big break, including a nice mouse named Dickey who thinks he should change his name as he hasn’t been “discovered” yet.

“It’s chaotic,” said Matt King, who plays Mickey, er, Dickey. “It’s just so much fun. Everybody just goes wild.”

The show’s production values are off the charts as well. There’s lush backgrounds and multi-level scenery along with complex costumes and tight choreography. Let’s not forget about the slapstick, either.

“People will like it because there’s slapstick,” said Grace Anderson, production member. “There’s enough jokes so that parents will like it too.”

“Meet the Three Goats Gruff,” will take place at 7 p.m. April 15 and 2 p.m. April 16 and 17. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under and are sold at the door.

Come on down to see the show, as that’s what the playwright, local writer Greg Miller, will be doing this weekend, watching the show he wrote on Saturday.

“It’s exciting that he’s a local playwright,” said Angela Donovan, who plays Mr. Fox. “It’s fun that we can perform for him.”