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Junie B. Jones the Musical arrives at Beef and Boards!

Be honest with yourself: Haven’t you had moments where you WISH you could lie down on the ground and throw a full-out tantrum like a little kid?

She’s an adult, but actress Jaddy Ciucci gets to indulge that urge several times a week in the role of the unforgettable Junie B. Jones in the Pyramid Players 2016 Live Theatre for Kids Series production at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.

The story, based on the popular book series by Barbara Park, followed Junie through the epic ups and downs of first grade friendships.

(Side note: Moms and dads, if you haven’t checked out the children’s shows at Beef and Boards before, they’re a perfect introduction to theatre for the youngest kiddos – one hour long, written with kids’ imaginations and attention spans in mind, and served up with a juice box and Rice Krispie treat, with a chance for kids to meet the cast afterwards!)

JunieBJonesTheMusical_Indy's Child MagazineThere was something absolutely priceless about watching my 5-year-old daughter’s shocked laughter at Junie’s hair-pulling, foot stomping, insult-shouting, unselfconscious lack of self-control.

My Miss Daisy had her eyebrows raised as she laughed at poor Junie, as if to suggest, “Wow – can you BELIEVE a kid would act that way?! I mean – wow – that’s something that in my purity and innocence, I could NEVER, EVER picture…”


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JunieBJonesTheMusical_Indy's Child Magazine
Photo used courtesy of Beef and Boards.

I loved, loved, LOVED the physicality all the actors brought to their roles. Samuel McKanney (an adorable personal friend from past productions) was sweet and hilarious as Junie’s shyly smitten buddy “Herb.” Twins “Camille and Chenille” (Sally Scharbrough and Amanda Lehman) were fun to watch as they worked their charms on Junie’s bestie “Lucille” (Katy Gentry) throwing that friendship for a wild double-loop.

Keep your eyes peeled for the cast member pulling TRIPLE duty, Carrie S. Neal (another treasured theatre friend!) even made an appearance with a well-padded prosthetic rear end as the revered “snack lady,” Mrs. Gutzman. For any actress, that takes guts (or gutz)!

Even if your kids squirm and fidget through the whole show (as mine did), here are the lessons they should take away:

  • Being a kid is sometimes tough, and that’s okay.
  • Kids are sometimes mean to each other – keep your chin up and stay above it.
  • What makes you “different” can also be what makes you awesome.
  • We all lose it sometimes. It’s good to learn how to recover.
  • True friends are worth their weight in gold.

Oh, and one more thing – watching live theatre is more FUN than having your face in an electronic device, or glued to a TV screen!

Thanks, Junie B. cast and crew, for serving up all those important lessons, and a fun family outing!


MORE INFO: Junie B. Jones the Musical runs through March 26 at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, located at 9301 Michigan Road, Indianapolis. Performances are available at 10am on Fridays, and 10am and 1pm on Saturdays and last for one hour. Tickets run $15.50/ea and include a snack. Call the box office at {317} 872-9664 or visit their website to purchase yours.

 

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