VIDEO: Sneak peek of NLT’s 74th season debut, ‘School House Rocks Jr.’

Published 1:05 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

NATCHEZ — More magical than the number three, Natchez Little Theatre’s 74th season debut performance School House Rocks Jr. premiered Thursday and is showing through Sunday at the theater at 319 Linton Avenue.

Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. nightly through Saturday, Feb. 19, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20.

The cast of School House Rocks Jr. is made up of talented local children, including Avery Atkins as Tom; Reene Slover as George; Lynlee Kingsayfer as Dori; Adele Middleton as Joe; Amelie Harris as Shulie; Leah Tillman as Dina; Tatum Brumfield as Elvis/Janet soloist; Cameron Abney as Interplanet Janet; Jazzlyn Proby as the soloist for Melting Pot; and the ensemble, Julia Jex, Vivienne Gibson, Grant Gibson, Trent Robinson, Alexa Hardy, and Rowe Slover.

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The show is directed by Misty Tuccio, Leigh Ann Mason and junior assistant director Gianna Tuccio.

Mason said the kids have rehearsed almost every week, three times each week since they auditioned for their parts on Jan. 3.

The theater’s crew pieced together a colorful set that ties together each song in the performance, complete with a giant television set at center stage.

“After we rehearsed each night, the theater crew would stay and paint until about 10 p.m.,” Mason said.

The show was originally adapted and produced for the stage by Theatre BAM from the series created by George Newall and Tom Yohe, based on an idea by David McCall to help his struggling son memorize multiplication tables.

School House Rocks teaches teachers like the main character Tom how to teach while teaching children various topics of study, from math and science to history and social studies through music.

The original show was conceived and directed by Scott Ferguson with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, David Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, George Newall and Tom Yohe.

Atkins, who plays Tom, and Reene Slover, who plays George, both said this would be their first time to play a lead role in any show. On Wednesday, they worked through their nerves by performing the show in front of their peers at Cathedral and Adams County Christian School.

“I’ve never even had lines before,” Slover said. “This would be my first time to have lines. I saw that (the audience) was little and that helped. I’m excited about being expressive and being my character. That is what I’m most excited about.”

Atkins said she was nervous about messing up but excited to be performing in front of her friends.

“I kind of wanted to fall down just so they’d laugh,” she said.

Tickets are $20 each and can be reserved by calling 601-442-2233 or by emailing natchezlittletheatre@gmail.com.