Saturday, April 28, through Sunday, May 6
Davenport Junior Theatre, 2822 Eastern Avenue, Davenport IA
A classic Hans Christian Andersen tale gets a zany makeover when Davenport Junior Theatre presents the world premiere of author Aaron Randolph III's The Emperor's New Clothes, its April 28 through May 6 presentation telling the fabled story through a student-performed, fourth-wall-breaking slapstick featuring modern-day references, surprise guests, and leading characters named Table-Cloth and Low-Fat-Greek-Yogurt.
A short story that has been translated into more than 100 languages worldwide, Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes tells of two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions or incompetent. In reality, however, they make no clothes at all, and when the emperor parades before his subjects in his new “clothes,” no one dares say that they do not see any suit of clothes for fear that they will be seen as stupid. In Junior Theatre's production, this parable with a timeless moral is given a goofy update that finds both performers and “audience members” re-imagining Andersen's story as it goes along, leading to smart and hilarious silliness that winds up involving a deluded mayor, a fisherman, a lumberjack, and even the theatre's mascot Showtime Pal.
Randolph's previous contributions to Junior Theatre have included adaptating the family play 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and serving as music director for the company's recent Seussical Jr. The Emperor's New Clothes' director is Kailey Ackermann, with her crew including scenic designer Emma Brutman, lighting designer Zach Meyer, and costume designer Kris Meyer. And 20 young performers make up the show's cast: Victoria Batey, Emma Brandel Rebecca Carver, Alma Ford, Katie Harris, AnnaLiese Hayes, Brielle Holst, Ally Lindauer, Cayla Odendahl, Grace Peterson, Katrina Pfeiffer, Mary Pfeiffer, Tori Randolph, Micah Roldan, Jillian Sharfe, Meredith Sloat, Audrey Smith, Keegan Walker, Tyler Wilburn, and Jonathan Young.
The Emperor's New Clothes will be presented at 1 & 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, tickets are $6-8 at the doors, and more information is available by calling (563)888-2227 or visiting DavenportJuniorTheatre.com.