COLDWATER, MI – This weekend students in Tibbits Young Audiences production of “The Adventures of Rikki-Tikki Tavi” bring to life the Jungle Book characters of Rudyard Kipling in a memorable play for the entire family.
This adaptation by Tim Kelly features all of the beloved characters that have charmed readers for over a century. In the play, storytellers from India portrayed by Carson Perz and Sarah Forrister, spark the audience’s imagination to see the jungle and its creatures. They weave a magical tale with cobras, monkeys, wolves, a crocodile, a camel, an elephant and the wily mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi played byTaylor Medendorp.
Abbie Miller, William Odisher and Brynn Niedzwiecki portray a British family in India in jeopardy from the marauding cobras, Nag, Nagaina and their evil Queen, played by Hayden Shimizu, Audrey Waltke and Megan Barnes, in league with Shere Khan the arrogant tiger played by Aiden Koch. Only Rikki and her faithful friends Ikki the Porcupine, played by Alex Pickell and Darzee the Tailor Bird, played by Alison Harvey, can save the day.
During Rikki’s quest, she meets Owen Needham as the Monkey Potentate, along with his hilarious troop of playful Bandarlog monkeys played by Samuel Clark, Lexi Galliers, Jeffrey Harvey, Julia Kirk, Abigail Needham, Nolan Nohr, Dane Pickell and Alexandra Stewart. They just want Rikki to play, but she outsmarts them to continue on her way. The proud and jungle-law-abiding wolves, played by Austin Andrews, Gabriela Armstrong, Mae Blansit, Rilee Cooper-Lewis, Bridgette Meyers, Kaitlyn Noble, Annabelle Tice and Madison Wilson, have a howl that is worse than their bite, and actually help Rikki find her way further into the jungle.
Through her travels, the camp animals, played by Ally Aker, Emily Fagen, Lydia Kaniewski, Krysta Struble, Shelby Taber, and Abbie Miller, and the proud soldier Billy Gumption, played by Lucas Stewart are a fun addition to Rikki’s adventure. Rikki takes a break for just a moment to beg for a story from the narrators, introducing Shaun Coleman as the Crocodile, Alison Turner as Kolokolo Bird, and Faith Miller as the curious Elephant’s Child who just can’t help asking lots of questions!
Rikki’s adventures will entertain as she matches wits with her enemies including the tricky Mongoose Hunter played by Kelli Warner.
According to Julia Littley, director for the TYA show, “The kids are doing a wonderful job learning to improvise animal movements and characteristics to bring this classical story to life.” She adds, “It’s rewarding to bring to the stage a show that appeals to both kids and adults alike, because it’s one that the parents remember from their own childhood!”
TYA offers programs both for and by area youth to develop their interest in the arts. “The Adventures of Rikki-Tikki Tavi” production team for the show in addition to Littley, includes Tirsha Odisher, Cindy Curtis, Sherry Fagen, Leon Kriser, Lynn Marshall, and Laura Odom. The stage crew includes Tibbits Theatre And Beyond (T-Tab) members Connor Michael, Michayla Lock, Linzy Monks, Sarah Odom, and Mary Tate.
“The Adventures of Rikki-Tikki Tavi” is generously sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Coldwater. Children of all ages will enjoy the jungle-book adventure. Performances are October 16 and 17 at 7 pm and October 18 at 2 pm. Tickets are $5 or $7 by credit card. They are available from cast members, online at www.Tibbits.org, by calling 517-278-6029 or at the administrative office at 93 West Chicago Street. Performances are held at the historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 South Hanchett Street, Coldwater, Michigan.
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