It was a play as whimsical as the novel from which it was inspired.
presented by the Reisterstown Theatre Project, provided two-and-a-half hours of delightful entertainment based on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
The Reisterstown Theatre Project, which began in 2008, is in its fourth season, and “Narnia” promises to be one of its most entertaining performances, for adults and children alike.
The set design was simple, the costumes eclectic and the props glittering, and along with the acting, these elements managed to transform the Franklin Middle School auditorium into Narnia, the magical land that exists beyond a wardrobe in one of England’s oldest and most mysterious manors.
Marbleton Manor is where the adventure begins, and we are introduced to our four main protagonists, siblings Peter (Casey Consuegra), Susan (Anya Balan), Lucy (Emily Plovan) and Edmund (Michael Sova). The four young actors are quite believable as squabbling brothers and sisters intent on exploring the curious nooks and crannies of the manor, much to the dismay of housekeeper Mrs. MacReady (Theresa Ertel).
After a spat, Edmund and Lucy stumble into the wardrobe and out into Narnia, a land of perpetual winter and mystical creatures. For those who haven’t read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in years, or who haven’t seen the movie adaptation, watching the siblings’ journey is like discovering Narnia all over again.
By the time Peter and Susan find themselves in Narnia, Edmund has been lured to the side of the White Witch and her delicious promises of Turkish Delight. Kat McKerrow’s White Witch is diabolical and evil, and her bold voice nearly stole the show during the musical numbers.
Along the way, Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund find themselves befriending a bizarre cast of characters including the faun Tumnus (Lauren DeSha), the quarreling husband-and-wife duo of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver (John Gurtshaw and Ellena Simone, respectively), and finally the lion king Aslan (Raphael Shaw), who has the power to return spring to Narnia and free the Narnians from the Witch’s icy grip.
Shaw’s calm, confident presence made Aslan the quintessential hero, and Plovan played a compassionate Lucy to Sova’s petulant, greedy (though later reformed) Edmund. Along with McKerrow, these three led a cast that included an amusing (and adorable) chorus doubling as the good Narnians, and the “Cruelies” on the Witch’s side. All in all, the Reisterstown Theatre Project provided a convincing portrayal of the timeless tale.
“Narnia – The Musical” continues on the weekends throughout March. The Reisterstown Theatre Project will have performances Friday, March 9 and 16 at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 10 and 17 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $8 to $12.