Lake Oswego Junior High performs 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'
After months of preparation, Lake Oswego Junior High School Theater Arts will perform "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," starting tonight, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m.
Drama teacher and musical director Danielle Pecoff said she's never received such a positive reaction to a play she's chosen before.
"What I love about this show is that it has such a shared history with so many people," Pecoff said. "I've never had an experience like this before where I told people what we were doing and they immediately started to sing to me."
She said from ages 10-80, this show is a shared community story.
"I'm just hoping that people will come be a part of that," Pecoff said.
"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" — which was made into a movie from the book in 1968 — is the story of an eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts, who repairs an old race car with the help of his children, Jeremy and Jemima. They name it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang after the noise it makes. The car turns out to have magical abilities which causes trouble when the evil Baron Bomburst decides he wants the car for himself. The Baron abducts grandpa Potts thinking he was the one who made the car. The Potts family, along with love interest Truly Scrumptious, go on an adventure to save him.
LOJ's musical version is an adaptation of a 2002 rendition.
Eighth grader Ashleigh Yob plays Lady Scrumptions, mother to one of the main characters in the musical, Truly Scrumptious. Yob has been involved in theater since she was 8 and is currently taking a class in advanced choir.
"I love it so much because I can play different characters — which I normally can't — and kind of make it my own," she said. "And the drama department here is just great."
She said LOJ's performance of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" is just like the movie that older people will remember, but students also put their own spin on it.
Marcus Greene is an eighth grader and the assistant director of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." Greene said he fell in love with theater after he watched his sister perform in an LOJ musical.
"I was like, 'This is awesome. I want to do this,'" he said.
Greene added that although he's sad to be directing his last musical at LOJ, he's excited to do even more directing in high school.
Eighth grader Emma Marsteller Sasik said as stage manager, she gives guidance to the backstage crew to make sure things run smoothly.
She also hopes she continues with theater when she moves on to high school.
"Everyone works very hard in order for everything to sort of fit together," she said. "We all have an important part to play, so no one is not important."
If you go:
What: "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," the musical
When: Feb. 6-8 at 7 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.
Where: Lake Oswego Junior High School cafeteria.
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