JACK AND THE BEANSTALK: Storybook Musical Theatre’s Classic Musical Spring Offering

by Patricia Bradford

Storybook Musical Theatre, the Abington-based, professional children’s theater company, will continue its 24th season with the classic Old English tale of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, about an adventurous boy who trades the family cow for a handful of beans and ends up in the clouds fighting a mean ogre. The family musical, with book by Storybook’s Artistic Director, Patricia Goldberg and original music by Kevin Arruda, plays at the Gratz College Theater, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, PA. from March 8 to March 20. Tickets are $12 for children, $14 for adults with school and group discounts available. For reservations and further information: 215-659-8550 or www.storybookmusical.org

In this well known story the idealistic hero believes the grass is always greener on the other side. When his mother tosses away the beans he had traded fir the family cow, he finds that the grass in not only greener, but a lot taller. Those beans sprout into a huge beanstalk that is as high as the clouds. Curiosity gets the better of Jack and he climbs the beanstalk and ends up encountering the most disagreeable ogre in fairy tale land. Fortunately for Jack, the ogre’s wife is a bit less temperamental. How does Jack save the day, defeat the ogre, and bring happiness and peace to his family and village makes for a fun-filled musical.

In the title role of Jack is P.J. Schweizer, of Doylestown. He appeared last season in the title role in Pinocchio. Other Storybook credits include: Adventures in Toyland, Rumpelstiltskin and Hansel and Gretel. He originated the leading role in the national tour of Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing for Theatreworks USA. Regional credits: Peter Pan, 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, All Shook Up, and Sweeney Todd. When not acting he can be found with his Sesame Street friends at Sesame Place where he is Assistant Entertainment Director.

David Mulholland, of Bristol, PA. steps into the role of the ornery ogre. He was seen last season as the King in The Frog Prince and Fortunato Fox in Pinocchio. Other Storybook credits include: Little Red Riding Hood, Robin Hood, Aladdin, The Emperor’s New Clothes and many more. Regional credits: Proof at Act Out Theater, Big River at Mt. Gretna Playhouse, Our Town at Delaware Theater Company and The Snow Queen at the Prince Music Theater.

The orge’s calming force, his wife Gertrude, is played by Joyce Moody of Newtown, PA. Moody was last seen on Storybook’s stage as Little Red’s mother in Little Red Riding Hood. Storybook audiences will remember her as the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel and the Queen in Snow White. Joyce was in the national tour of Damn Yankees with Dick Van Dyke. Regional credits: Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady and LaCage aux Folles at the Walnut St. Theater, She Loves Me at Bristol Riverside Theater.

Rounding out the cast is a Storybook newcomer, Kristin Wiegand of Norristown, PA. Local Regional credits include Edna in Light Sensitive and Lucinda in Don’t Talk to the Actors at Montgomery Theatre, Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music at Steel River Playhouse. Other Regional credits: Seascape and Waiting for Lefty at Theatre West, Ugly Duckling and Jack and the Beanstalk at Storybook Theater in California, The Curious Savage and The Children’s Hour at Whitmore-Lindley Theatre.

The director of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK is Patricia Goldberg. Musical Director is Jeff Reim with costumes by Kim Hanley, sets by Pat Goldberg and lighting by Marc S. Goldberg.

Show times are 10:15 am weekdays, 11:00am Saturdays and 2:00 pm Sundays.

Storybook productions are appropriate for children age three and older. After each performance children have the opportunity to meet the actors for a handshake, picture or autograph.

For information, reservations or directions call: 215-659-8550 or www.storybookmusical.org.


PHOTO CUTLINE: Jack, played by PJ Schweizer, climbs the beanstalk on his upward adventure in the Storybook Musical Theatre production of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK. For more information or reservations: 215-659-8550 or www.storybookmusical.org

Photo by Mike Levin

Theater/Organization Storybook Musical Theatre
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.storybookmusical.org

Theater/Organization Address: Gratz College, 7605 Old York Rd. Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (215) 659-8550

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