Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

THEATER REVIEW PYT 'Flat Stanley' deserves big stamp of approval

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 by DOUGLAS GRAVES Special to The Press in Focus

To see the world for the price of a postage stamp is a great benefit if you can fold yourself flat, as Stanley Lambchop finds out in a musical romp around the world.

Pennsylvania Youth Theatre's production of "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley," directed by Bill Mutimer, through May 19, Charles A. Brown IceHouse, Sand Island, Bethlehem, deserves a big stamp of approval. Timothy Allen McDonald adapted Jeff Brown's classic children's story, "Flat Stanley," for the children's theater show.

For the May 4 performance, the Paris Cast included Dawson Maddock in the title role. Maddock is multitalented in his singing, acting and dancing.

Brent Schlosshauer as Flat Stanley's father, Mr. Lambchop, turns in a great performance with his strong voice and commanding stage presence.

When Stanley gets one-dimensionally thin after his encounter with Emerson Shauger as Bulletin Board, his dreams of being a hero start to come true. Shauger turns in a second strong performance by also playing the character of Assistant Director.

Postwoman Mrs. Cartero (Maia Gould) is terrific as the letter carrier who helps Flat Stanley turn his dreams of traveling the world into a flat-rate reality.

One of the funniest scenes pits Mrs. Lambchop (Ali Wycherley) against zany Doctor Dani (Dorothy Brill) in a whirlwind of verbal confusion that leaves Flat Stanley's mom steamed and Flat Stanley's condition diagnosed as "flat." Other than that, he's perfectly normal.

John Conahan excels as he plays Flat Stanley's little brother and chief admirer, Arthur. He provides some great laughs with his winning personality.

During Flat Stanley's trip to Los Angeles, he meets Hollywood Agent, played with professional polish by Madeline Sinkler. She is ably assisted by Dallas Maddock (Jazmin, Hollywood Assistant No. 1) and Anastacia Faisetty (Tamara, Hollywood Assistant No 2), both of whom are perfect sidekicks for the high-powered talent agent.

Mia Faisetty sparkles as Suzanne Toomey, a cute kid who has mastered today's cell-phone culture, complete with eye-rolling.

Emily Visperas' voice stands out as Bikini Wahini in the Hawaiian-terrific beach party scene. Visperas also plays a second role as Christina Toomey.

Katie Olsen is hilarious as Parisian museum director O. Jay D'Art coping with the mysterious Sneak Thief (Cissie Brotzman). The clever thief next threatens to steal more art, including "Mona Lisa," given delightful dimensionality by Leighann Phillips.

Jessie Brotzman as Napoleon gives his character depth and personality as he assists Flat Stanley in fulfilling yet another fantasy.

Taylor Kendall, as The President, is fun to watch as is her staff, Secret Service Agent Brody (Clara Floyd) and Secret Service Agent Jones (Ariana Kane).

Emily Reed does magical work as the little Genie Blue and Hannah Scheifele is a standout as Calamity Mae Jasper.

Costume Designer Bill Bauman captures Flat Stanley perfectly and outfits the large cast with colorful costumes that help tell the story.

Denise Binder's choreography is marvelous.