Feb 13

Love Against All Odds: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” cast: (l-r) Russell Garrett, Lisa Kate Joyce, Michael Jennings Mahoney, Kristian Espiritu, Yasmeen Duncan, and Todd McNeel. Photo by Jake Belcher.

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Book by Robert Kauzlaric
Music and Lyrics by George Howe
Based on the novel by Richard and Florence Atwater
Direction and Choreography by Ilyse Robbins
Music Direction by Dan Rodriguez
Scenic Design by Janie E. Howland
Costume Design by Bethany Mullins
Puppet Design by Alex Vernon
Featuring: Yasmeen Duncan, Kristian Espiritu, Russell Garrett, Lisa Kate Joyce, Michael Jennings Mahoney, Todd McNeel

February 10 – March 3, 2024
Wheelock at Boston University
180 Riverway
Boston, MA 02215

Run Time: 70 minutes with no intermission

Recommended for ages 3+

Review by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood

BOSTON, Mass. — After a long afternoon at work and a particularly sluggish MBTA ride, I was in a grim mood when I finally walked into the Wheelock Family Theatre last night – but my spirits were almost instantaneously lifted at the sight of Captain Cook (the first of many heartwarming creations by puppeteer Alex Vernon), a full-sized penguin puppet, complete with waddling feet, flapping wings, and expressive, blinking eyes. Continue reading

Nov 04

Don’t Tell Me the Odds: “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka”

Photo by Nile Scott.

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly
Adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald
Based on the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Directed by Emily Ranii
Music directed by Nathan Urdangen 
Choreographed by Russell Garrett

Oct 25 – Nov. 17, 2019
Boston University
200 Riverway 
Boston, MA 02215
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Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Wheelock Family Theatre’s production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka (2004) should not be confused with the West End and Broadway production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is currently touring in the US (now in Omaha!). Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka is not. Both incorporate elements from Dahl’s novel and the two Hollywood movies. They are similar but not the same.  

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka cannot compete with the novel or the movies. Fans of the other Wonka media should view this iteration as the children’s theatre it is and not compare it to its source materials. They will be disappointed. Continue reading