MainStreet Theatre Company will end its 7th season with an adaptation of Norton Juster's beloved children's classic, The Phantom Tollbooth. MainStreet has gathered a multi-talented team of Los Angeles artists, led by director Jessica Kubzansky, to bring this riveting story deliciously to life. The Phantom Tollbooth opens March 30th and runs through April 14th with performances Saturdays at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm and Sundays at 1:00 pm (no performance March 31st). Tickets are priced at $16.00 for General Admission, $14.00 for Seniors over 65 and Youth up to age 12.
Often compared to "Alice In Wonderland" because of its wonderful wordplay and sense of playfulness, the novel has been a children's favorite since 1962. This musical version captures all the fantasy and delight of the original and brings it vividly to life! When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in Milo's room, he follows the directions and drives through, only because he's bored and has nothing better to do. But on the other side, things are very different! He gets stuck in the Doldrums, befriends a ticking watchdog named Tock, meets the feuding kings of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, and goes on a quest to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason in order to restore harmony to the land. Along the way, Milo defeats his demons, and discovers that everything we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone. When he returns home, he realizes there is never a reason to be bored in a world full of so many things to discover.
The adaptation's book is by novelist Norton Juster and Broadway veteran Sheldon Harnick, with Lyrics by Mr. Harnick, and Music by Arnold Black. In addition to Ms. Kubzansky, MainStreet's creative team includes Scenic Designer Francois-Pierre Couture, Lighting Designer Jaymi Lee Smith, Costume Designer Tina Haatainen-Jones, and Sound Designer John Zalewski. Recent British transplant Sarah Gorman will provide choreography fit for Lethargarians and Word Sellers alike, and the show's 3 piece band will be led by Musical Director Janice Rodgers Wainwright.
Young Milo is being played by MainStreet newcomer Doug Harvey, a graduate of NYU's Tisch School, and a relative new arrival to Los Angeles. His alarm-clock-dog best friend, Tock, will be portrayed by MainStreet favorite Amanda Pajer, who was last seen in their Ovation nominated production of A Wrinkle in Time. The rest of the 7 member cast will play a multitude of roles to bring the various "Lands beyond" to vivid life. NY and LA stage veterans Gregory North (Center Theatre Group, Reprise, Hollywood Bowl, Broadway and National Tours) and Tim Cummings (Broadway, Off Broadway, South Coast Rep, Theatre @Boston Court, etc.) will play the warring kings of Digitopolis and Dictionopolis. Jane Noseworthy (last seen at MainStreet in Anne of Green Gables) and Sammi Smith (a company member of L.A.'s Coeurage Theatre Company) will play the princesses Rhyme and Reason, and Amir Levi will be the "Whether Man," among others.
The Phantom Tollbooth is appropriate for ages seven and up, and perfect for families to attend together! The Playhouse also runs special weekday matinees for school children, and study guides for teachers and parents are accessible on the Lewis Family Playhouse website. The matinee on April 7th will be interpreted in American Sign Language.
Members of the MainStreet Club will have the opportunity to participate in special activities before and during the show's run. The MainStreet Club is a membership club for kids and their families who want to have more interaction and "behind the scenes" experiences with MainStreet. Members of the club ($20 a year for one adult and 1 child) receive a button and membership card, have access to special events related to each show, and learn the "secret handshake." Club memberships are for sale at the Box Office, and kids and families can join at any time.