‘Tale of Peter Rabbit' appeals to kids and adults, too

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:42

BRANCHVILLE — Peter Rabbit and his friends will be hopping about as Little Lost Arts presents the musical “The Tale of Peter Rabbit (and Benjamin Bunny)” at the Ratsch Theater from Friday, April 10 to Sunday, April 19. Based on the tales by Beatrix Potter, this musical touching on the dangers of peer pressure, tells the story of young Peter Rabbit, who, against his mother’s advice, is conned into trespassing in Farmer McGregor’s garden by his crafty cousin, Benjamin. While this adaptation by R. Eugene Jackson is especially geared to young people, ages 4 and up, the comical dialogue, physical comedy and a David Ellis score that ranges from blues to calypso to disco, make this entertaining for adults, as well, said theater officials. Starring Maryta Schoen of Wantage as “Peter Rabbit,” six of the original cast members from the first performance of the show at Little Lost Arts back in 1999, who were then 5 to 16 years old, have returned to perform in the current revival. These include Melanie Riccheda, now a teacher at the Stanhope School; Courtney Verrilli, a youth substance abuse counselor at the Center for Prevention and Counseling, and Jessica Fricchione, an after-school care provider in Sparta and Stanhope schools. Also in the cast are Sussex County Community College students Marty Novak and Samantha Bushman as Farmer and Mrs. McGregor; Kelsey Fleury, Amanda Hayes and Micael-Anne Verrilli from High Point High School; Caitlin Lubey from Newton High School; Samantha Havens from Frankford School; Kaya Jellinek from McKeown School and Taylor Schroepfer and Michaela Pampin from Sparta schools. Evening performances of “Peter Rabbit” are at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, April 10, 11, 17 and 18. Matinees at 2 p.m. are on Saturdays, April 11 and 18, and Sunday, April 19. Advance tickets are recommended for this 50-seat venue located at 6 Broad St. in Branchville. General admission tickets are $12 for teens and adults; $10 for children, age 4 to 12. No children under 4 will be admitted. For more information, visit littlelostarts.com, or call 973-875-5111.