“Descendants” opens March 31 for four performances by local children

Photo by Marty Cheek
Carol Romo with her TheaterFun cast of “Disney Descendents.”

By Marty Cheek

The Disney television series “Descendants” has proven so popular with youngsters, the TheaterFun group of children performers will bring the musical story to the South Valley stage opening March 31.

Based on the popular Disney Channel original movies, “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical” is a brand-musical comedy set in the present-day in the kingdom of Auradon, said Carol Romo, the director of the show.

All of Disney’s beloved heroes and royalty are living happily ever after, safe from the terrifying villains and troublesome sidekicks they have banished to the magic-free Isle of the Lost.

Then Ben, the benevolent teenage son of Belle and King Adam (The Beast), offers a chance of redemption for the trouble-making offspring of the evilest villains. Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos — the children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella De Vil, and Jafar. Now entering a completely foreign world and way of life, the four “Villain Kids” have a difficult choice to make: should they follow in their parents’ wicked footsteps or learn to be good?

The role of “Ben” is performed by Noah Touchet, 13, who attends an online academy school.

“Ben is 16 and he is getting ready to be the king,” Noah said. “He wants the island kids, which are all evil kids, to come to Auradon Prep and be included in the school . . . They’re just kids who are having a hard time fitting in. I actually get a love spell and then I go to the island, it wears off, and I actually love Mal.”

Noah enjoys performing because it’s fun to be part of a group putting on an entertaining show for friends and family. Acting helps him learn how to feel confident speaking in front of a crowd, he said. It also trains him to be responsible in a team. “You have a full-time commitment,” he said.

Noah’s sister Ashlyn Touchet, 11, a home-schooled student, plays the role of “Maleficent.” She describes the character as “a mom who raised her child terribly.” The villainess is trying to get Ben to open the portal between the two worlds because she wants to rule Auradon.

“I want world domination,” Ashlyn said, describing her character’s driving desire. “I want all the power and to rule everybody and have revenge on the good guys.”

Performing the role of Carlos De Vil, the son of the dog-napping Cruella De Vil, 12-year-old Britton Middle School student Max Calé enjoys performing in the show by bringing humor into the story.

“It’s very fun doing all the (theater) stuff,” he said. “I consider myself comic relief. The story does not revolve around me. I’m just in the story to help make it funny.”

What’s great about being in the show for Calé?

“Everything! There’s always something new,” he said. “You’re making friends who have something in common with you. You’re being something different.”

Romo is impressed by how the young actors are developing their singing, dancing and acting skills for “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical” show. They range from kindergartners to middle schoolers.

“The little boys and girls think it’s a big play and they get to see their friends and run around,” She said. “They get discipline by working in a team . . . Once they get onstage and they hear the applause, they’ll love it even more. Many of them have never been onstage before and, once they perform in front of an audience, they’re going to get bit by the theater bug.”

The performers are Brooklyn Allan, Antonio Arguedas, Joaquin Arguedas, Sarafina Arguedas, Arie Babayan, Hannah Babayan, Kyah Babayan, Danielle Bergot, Clara Bokamper, Max Calé, Abigail Devlin, Maya Diaz, Jonathan Dominguez, Ava Therese Gabucan, Sophie Giamanco, Ethan Higdon, Mickey Allen Hiraoka, Emma Killough, Ayla Mahmutovic, Benjamin Mahmutovic, Mason Miller, Maya Moore, Jeana Moore, Jenavea Moore, Mea Moore, Jackson Murillo, Jonah Murillo, Izzy Murphy-Brecheen, Lilyana Roman, Jordyn Sabo, Avery Schwalen, Briella Stymest, Maddy Stymest, Ashlyn Touchet, Elly Touchet, and Noah Touchet.