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'Jungle Book Kids' a delightful safari at StageDoor

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By Sara Miller

The jungle is jumping with jazz in StageDoor Theatre’s latest production of "The Jungle Book Kids." StageDoor’s elementary-age casts are geared up for the final weeks of school and a toe-tapping production filled with monkeys and tigers and bears, oh my.

"The Jungle Book Kids" is adapted from the classic Disney film and includes all of the Disney tunes that will have you whistling on your way home. Children of all ages will love singing along with “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan’na Be Like You.”

StageDoor’s elementary company has two casts filled with students from the mountain corridor in grades kindergarten through fifth. The Mimics cast features 32 student actors and performs during the show’s opening weekend, May 8, 9 and 10. The Troupers cast has 30 students and will appear during the show’s closing weekend, May 15, 16 and 17.

“These kids are doing such a great job with this show," says Kyrie Biddle, the show’s director. "They are outrageous and full of love for whimsy and fantasy. Through acting, these young actors delve deep to develop their characters and deliver with success as you will see during this production.” 

The show stays true to the classic Disney movie from 1967. On the run from Shere Khan (played by Isabella Motter/Gina Elliott), a ferocious tiger who has banished him from the jungle, a human boy named Mowgli (played by Hannah Wood/Cassidy Firestone) is aided by an agile panther named Bagheera (Camille Deranleau/Kari Hoy). Along the way, the two meet a sinister snake named Kaa, a herd of elephants, and a giant bear named Baloo (played by Abby Harrington/Aiden Plaehn), who teaches them the musical rhythms of the jungle. 

The show is suitable for all ages, and will also highlight the Pre-K/1 Company (actors age 4 through first grade), directed by Pat Andres. The youngest actors kick off "The Jungle Book" with a pre-show performance and also appear as buzzing bees filling out the chorus in the main production.

In conjunction with the performances, Stagedoor Theatre and the elementary cast are helping people in our community “forget about their worries and their strife” by collecting a few “bare necessities of life” at each performance. The cast asks patrons to consider bringing toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, dish soap, sugar, cereal, canned fruit, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, pet food and large diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6). These items will be collected in the lobby and donated to Conifer’s Mountain Resource Center to help those in need.

Once "The Jungle Book" closes, StageDoor gears up for an exciting summer. The adult company will present Monty Python’s "Spamalot" from June 6-29. StageDoor summer camps begin on July 1 and run through August. Registrants receive a $25 discount if they register before May 25 and use the discount code EARLYBIRD. For more information on "Spamalot," StageDoor summer camps, or to buy your tickets to "The Jungle Book," call 303-838-0809 or visit www.stagedoortheatre.org.

Disney’s 'The Jungle Book Kids'

Presented by StageDoor Theatre Elementary Company

May 8 through May 17; Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7 p.m., Saturday matinee at 3 pm

Tickets cost $10 and $12

At StageDoor Theatre, 25797 Conifer Road in Conifer

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.stagedoortheatre.org or call 303-838-0809.