A charmingly irreverent and sweetly nostalgic stroll through childhood dilemmas of the 1970s, “How to Eat Like a Child – And Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-up,” now playing at Venice Theatre, is a musical comedy that first aired on September 22, 1981, on NBC. Based on Delia Ephron's best-selling book of the same name, it was adapted by Judith Kahan with music and lyrics by John Forster. With its 7 p.m. start and one-and-a-half-hour total run time, it’s a great show to bring the kids and grandparents to enjoy. It’s also interesting to compare the similarities and contrasts with today’s vastly altered lifestyles.
Through comedy sketches and songs, Director and Choreographer Cathy Baudrit-Noeth leads an adorable passel of 2nd-to-9th graders through their paces, accompanied on the piano by Musical Director Rick Bogner, who plays under a fully functional treehouse by Scenic/Lighting Designer Christopher A.D. Parrish.
The musical sketches are all delightful, beginning with the catchy prologue, “Like a Child.” "How to Eat Like a Child" features 10 year-old Casey Berkery, Venice veteran, Grace Wickerson, and 3rd grader Madison Campbell who solos in “How to Laugh Hysterically,” in which she makes prank phone calls then hangs up. Funny "How to Stay Home from School," with its list of familiar childhood ailments, is sung by Spotlight Kids trouper Moriah Haley, Venice veteran Emily Zezas, and 5th grader Natalie Taylor. “How to Ride in a Car,” includes Venice veteran Alexia King, Reese Cameron Balliet who solos in “Sayonara,” first timer Meredith Ellis, and littlest member, Lilly Mae Stewart who plays an adorable little dog in “How to Beg for a Dog.” Logan Schultz solos in the hilarious “How to Practice the Violin,” turning the instrument into an electric guitar, surrounded by screaming girls. “How to Play” includes musician Taylor Reister, Zoe Gillson who solos in “How to Express an Opinion,” and Ava Podewitz who solos in “How to Deal with Injustice.” Kiley Berkery solos in the touching “How to Look Forward to your Birthday.”
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