‘Winnie the Pooh’ opens tonight at Natchez Little Theatre
Published 12:20 am Thursday, February 1, 2018
by Sabrina Simms
NATCHEZ — The local young talent of the Natchez Little Theatre will recreate the Hundred Acre Wood with their presentation of “Winnie the Pooh,” based on A.A. Milne’s characters and the 2011 Disney animated feature film.
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The show will be playing at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and will close at 2 p.m. Sunday at the NLT at 319 Linton Ave. Tickets are $15 for non-NLT members.
The show will be performed an additional three times on Monday for local schools and features songs from the film and new hits by Robert and Kristen Lopez from Disney’s “Frozen.”
“The music is phenomenal,” NLT’s artistic and executive director Layne Taylor said.
The story takes place in the Hundred Acre Wood, where Pooh, played by 8-year-old Gianna Tuccio, and his friends form a rescue operation after Christopher Robin, played by Xander Tipton, age 12, has been captured by the “Backson.”
Teen choreographer Katie Borum, a senior at Trinity Episcopal School, makes her directorial debut with Don Vesterse as advisory assistant director.
Taylor said, Katie began performing with NLT when she was 8 years old and has won numerous awards for acting and a standing ovation award for her choreography in “The Jungle Book.”
“She (Borum) was doing such a good job with the choreography that I asked her if she would direct the show. Her qualifications come from having performed with us for the past 10 years,” Taylor said.
“I started off choreographing and then I ended up directing,” Borum said.
“I’m a little nervous but it feels really great. I’m really proud of myself for making it this far.”
Borum said as showtime came nearer, she was able to overcome her nerves regarding her inexperience.
“My first success is that I didn’t think I was going to be able to pull it off because I’m so young and didn’t have the directing experience that everyone else has.
“I think since this is my first time directing there were a lot of successes and failures, but I managed to get through them with a lot of patience.”
Taylor said each performer, ages 5 to 13, outshines many adults in the production that they’ve been working on since Dec. 28 of last year. The performers attend either Cathedral, Vidalia Lower Elementary, or Delta Charter School.
Pooh’s friends include Tigger, played by Parker Claire Maxwell; Piglet, Tatum Brumfield; Rabbit, Adair Carey; Kanga, Liza Gregg; Roo, Helen Smith; Eeyore, Vincent White; and Owl, Anabella Laird.
The “busy bees” act as narrators and are played by Taylor Ferguson, Haley Mize, Parker Mize, Trent Robinson, Xander Tipton, and Maggie Waddill.
“These kids are fantastic, there’s really been no challenges with the children. They’re all extremely talented,” Borum said.
“I’m really proud of the children that are in the show and I’m really grateful for this opportunity.”