‘My Son Pinocchio Jr.’ plays Oct. 25 to 28 in Morgan Hill Playhouse

Published in the October 24 – November 6, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Photo courtesy Kelly Klotzbach
From left, Olivia Meza (The Blue Fairy), a 7th grader at Vine Academy; Kyle Strenfel (Pinocchio), a 6th grader at Charter School of Morgan Hill; and
Cole Read (Geppetto), an 8th grader at Martin Murphy Middle School.

Real boys and girls of all ages will delight in the classic tale of an aging toymaker and his beloved wooden puppet in the Disney musical show for children “My Son Pinocchio Jr.”

TheaterFun director Carol Romo has been working with talented South Valley children for several months to put on the show which will be performed Oct. 25-28 at the Morgan Hill Playhouse.

“This delightful family-friendly musical is a magical mix of heartwarming fairytale and action-packed adventure,” Romo said.

In this theatrical retelling of Disney’s animated film “Pinocchio,” the classic Italian tale of toymaker Geppetto’s little wooden puppet is given new life, she said.

“This new youth musical theater production tells the story from the old puppet-maker Geppetto’s perspective,” she said. “The show tackles timely issues about what it means to be ‘the perfect child’ and ‘a real father.’”

“My Son Pinocchio Jr” features many of the beloved songs from the 1940 movie including “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “I’ve Got No Strings.” It also includes a host of new songs by Stephen Schwartz, the composer of Disney’s “Pocahontas,” Broadway’s “Wicked” and many other hit shows.  The book is by David Stern.

Photo courtesy Kelly Klotzbach
The TheaterFun cast of “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” take time during a recent rehearsal to have a fun photo op.

Much like the Disney movie, “My Son Pinocchio” is a re-telling of the 1883 fairytale novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by the Italian author and humorist Carlo Collodi. This musical is actually based on the more recent made-for-television movie “Geppetto,” which was originally broadcast in 2000. When the Blue Fairy grants Geppetto’s wish to bring his beloved puppet to life, the new father quickly learns that being a parent is full of challenges.

“As in the TV film, when Pinocchio runs away to become a star in Stromboli’s puppet show, his maker/father, Geppetto, must negotiate through a maze of adventures, trials, and comic encounters to find him,” Romo said. “It is only when faced with the thought of never seeing Pinocchio again that Geppetto truly learns the joys of being a father and loving a child unconditionally.”

In this all-youth production, Romo assembles 49 cast members from throughout the South Valley area.

The youths range from first to eighth graders who attend 16 schools from South San Jose, Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy. Many of the actors return to the stage, while a few are first-time performers. The cast includes Cole Read as Geppetto, Kyle Strenfel as Pinocchio, Olivia Meza as the Blue Fairy, Isabella Novick as Stromboli, Gavin Mace as Professor Buonragazzo, and Alexander Beckner as the Ringleader.

Romo is founder of TheaterFun, an after-school edutainment program. (For more details, visit www.theaterfun.com​.). The Morgan Hill resident’s love for performing arts began at an early age, first, as a ballerina and later as a ballet instructor.

After 30 years of teaching ballet, Romo began directing and producing theater. She established TheaterFun in 1997. Romo has directed more than 40 theatrical productions since 2010.

Previous productions in Morgan Hill and Gilroy include “Shrek Jr” (May 2018), “Madagascar — A Musical Adventure Jr” (October 2017), and “Annie Jr” (October 2015) among other shows.

Romo also teaches a week-long theater arts summer camp which produced Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” this summer. Romo has four children and is a long-time Morgan Hill resident.

Tickets for the show are $10 for children 12 and younger and $12 for adults and can be purchased at the door or online at mysonpinocchio.brownpapertickets.com.

Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday Oct. 25, 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 26, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 27 and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday Oct. 28. For more details, email pinocchiotickets@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/theaterfun.

 

Marty Cheek

Marty Cheek

Publisher at Morgan Hill Life
Marty Cheek is the publisher of Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life. He is also the co-author with Congressman Jerry McNerney of the book Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels.
Email: marty@morganhilllife.com
Phone: (408) 782-7575
Marty Cheek