The Musical” – The Bell Tower

Wes Catton

The cast of “Junie B. Jones: The Musical” learns the choreography for the opening scene.

For the Fall Theater show, Mount Aloysius College will present Junie B. Jones: The Musical. In the show, Junie B. Jones, played by Ally Ritchey, enters first grade. But after being dumped by her friend Lucille (Maddie Caldwell), Junie B. must find her place as a first-grade student. Audiences will see Junie B. Jones deal with the growing pains that most children face in one way or another growing up, such as losing her best friend, needing glasses, and not being able to play the game of school kickball. However, she will find new friends along the way like Herbert (Benjamin Michaels), the new kid at school, and Sheldon (Dillon Trausi), the lovable, lactose-intolerant nerd.

Junie B. Jones is Ally’s third musical at Mount Aloysius; she previously played Violet in Charlie Brown Christmas and Becky Two Shoes in Urinetown. Ally is thrilled to be on the show and playing one of her favorite childhood characters. “She’s probably the most sassy and witty freshman ever. I’m super excited to be Junie B. because I grew up reading all the books. Overall, I’m happy to be able to spend my senior year with my theater friends, doing what we love Junie B. Jones will definitely be one for the memory book.

The show is directed by Dan Evers, an acting professor at Mount Aloysius College. Junie B. Jones: The Musical is Evers’ third show at Mount Aloysius College after arriving at the college in the fall of 2021. In the 2021-2022 school year, Evers performed A Charlie Brown Christmas during the fall semester and Urinetown in the spring semester, with donations from the show going towards a scholarship honoring a former Mount Aloysius College student, Tim Michrina, who sadly passed away in 2021.

Evers thought Junie B. Jones the Musical was the perfect choice for a fall show, especially for children who have suffered the social effects of Covid. “I chose Junie B. Jones because I really felt like there was a story that everyone could relate to. In particular, I felt like, especially coming out of Covid, there is still a lot of fear in children, and a lot of strangers are still trying to manage their emotions.

For many children, finding characters who go through the same situations as themselves can be difficult to find, but Evers thinks Junie B. may be that character for them. “For me, Junie B. Jones is someone who really tackles these issues. I think it’s great for kids to have that one person they can relate to and that’s Junie B. or the other characters they see on the show.

While Junie B. Jones, the book series came out in the 90s and early 2000s, Evers thinks anyone, whether the series was before or after their time, can watch the show and have a good time. moment. “Well, unfortunately, when you’re my age, a lot of things seem to be in the past. Junie B Jones is one of those books that came out when I wasn’t a kid, but I definitely took notice of it and it was something my younger sister used to read growing up. The great thing is now, when I even look at my students, a lot of them have read Junie B. Jones and know about Junie B. Jones. He there’s something nostalgic about it and it kind of brings back their childhood, and on the other hand for kids who haven’t seen it yet.

Junie B. Jones has a huge variability in her characters on stage that everyone can relate to. Outside of the eccentric Junie B. Jones, the experience of being a new kid in the classroom can be seen in Junie B.’s new best friend, Herb. Parents who come to see the show may be able to relate to the parents of Junie B. Jones, whether it reminds them of putting their kids on the bus on the first day of school or watching them in the kickball game at the school scale. Evers, commenting on the variety of characters the show has to relate to, said, “All of these characters in the musical are people every kid can relate to. I think it’s really important these days that there’s representation in terms of characteristics or personalities and we see that.

Although on the outside, Junie B. Jones may seem like a musical aimed just at children, but there are a lot of different elements that every audience member can relate to, whether it’s a freshman like Junie B. Jones or the grandfather who brought her there to share a special experience. Lindsay Sekeres, a senior at Mount Aloysius College and the show’s assistant stage manager, also thinks everyone can connect personally with the show. “Junie B Jones is a show for everyone. She struggles with things like friend breakups and not understanding something in class and we’ve all been there once or twice!”

Junie B. Jones: The Musical of Mount Aloysius College will be performed in the Alumni Hall. Performances will be open to the public on Thursday October 27 and Friday October 28 at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, October 29, the college will also host a matinee performance at 10:30 a.m. In addition to these three performances, Mount Aloysius College will also present two other shows on October 28 earlier today, which will be aimed at local school districts who have been invited to see the show. These two specific sessions will not be open to the public. The shows open to the public will however be free, donations being optional. The cast invites everyone to come see the show and plans to give the audience an unforgettable show. Whether you’re taking your kids or younger cousins ​​to see the show, or going alone or with childless friends, you’ll have a great time!