ZACH Theatre‘s latest family production is the beloved tale of Charlotte’s Web. Based on the book by E.B. White, this children’s play is now showing through January 15. Our Content Manager and her three sons had the opportunity to see the play on opening night. Read all about it below.
Charlotte’s Web is my favorite, most cherished book of all time. So much in fact, that I made it required reading for all of my boys (ages 7, 8, 10) over the summer. They were scrolling Netflix one hot afternoon and asked to watch the cartoon movie version. “Nope”, I said, “not until you read the book first.” As I had hoped, the kids were moved by the story of devoted friendship and loyalty. They were concerned for Wilbur’s fate on the farm, they nervously hoped he’d win that blue ribbon at the county fair, they were touched by Charlotte’s desire to save him, they were saddened by her passing.
There are some heavy topics within the story of Charlotte’s Web, but ZACH Theatre’s production presents this in a very heartwarming way, with a focus on friendship and lasting love, showcased through song and beautiful storytelling.
When we arrived at ZACH Theatre, we were greeted by an adorable menagerie of actual farm animals — bunnies, geese, goats and yes, a sweet little pig. (The pre-show petting zoo will be available on select dates: Nov. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, & Dec. 10). We gave some love to this real-life Wilbur before entering the Kleberg Theater, only to find more pre-show fun — a sing-along hootenanny led by the talented cast. This show features awesome bluegrass music led by the direction of Allen Robertson. (For any fellow Biscuit Brothers fans, you’ll surely notice the familiar voices and faces of Allen Robertson and Jerome Schoolar in this production. With years of experience entertaining families, they bring so much life to this show, even when they are not in Biscuit Brother’s persona.) We were definitely having a great time before the show even started!
With the set design and the toe-tapping music, you’re immediately transported into life on the farm. Within the show, actors are playing animals alongside actors who are playing humans, but the creative, yet subtle, costume design from Brandon McWilliams is perfect — as is the amazingly entertaining and spot-on actor’s portrayal of each species through physical characterization and vocalizations. Amber Quick as the sheep had big laughs from the audience, as did the geese, Allen Robertson and Amanda Clifton.
While the entire cast was impressive, the kids and I were simply in awe of Winnie Hsia as Charlotte. Director Nat Miller’s decision to partner with Sky Candy on this production was brilliant. Winnie Hsia’s ariel artistry wowed us as she hung from silk strings, doing acrobatics. We were fascinated as she moved up, down & upside-down on the strings and as the web simultaneously lit up with words “some pig”, “terrific” and “humble”. My kids absolutely thought this was the coolest part of the show.
My sons were also really impressed with the child actors in the show. Wilbur is played by both Riley McCue and Diego Rodruiguez, and Fern is played by Mariela Denson and Mercy Bovik. It’s inspiring for kids to see other kids performing on stage. My kids have attended camps and classes with ZACH Theatre’s education department, and it’s very cool for them to see how some kids “make it” and pursue this as a real life endeavor.
Do512 Family is a sponsor of this production of Charlotte’s Web, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it. It’s a touching show that will having you laughing out loud, clapping your hands and tapping your toes to the tunes, possibly tearing up (just a little). But mostly, you’ll leave the theater reflecting on the joy in your heart for those you’ve loved and lost, and for those friendships that you cherish. We definitely think this is a blue ribbon-worthy show for families!
–> Schedule & Tickets: Charlotte’s Web runs now through January 15, with Saturday shows at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., and Sunday shows at 2 p.m. School groups are also invited to schedule weekday field trips. This play is recommended for ages 3 & up, and the showtime is approximately one hour and includes an intermission.
Tickets start at $16 and can be purchased online here or by calling the Box Office at 512-476-0541 x1. To order 8 or more tickets to this production, please contact Group Sales at 512-476-0541 x245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parking at the theater is $7. The Petting Zoo will be onsite on the following dates for $5/per child: November 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and December 10. Concessions are also sold in the lobby.
–> Giveaway! We have a 4-pack of tickets to give away for the 2 p.m. show on Saturday, October 29. Enter below. Good luck!
This giveaway is now closed, and our winner has been notified. Thanks to all who entered.