Taking advice isn’t always easy. But when thirteen-year-old problem solver Edwina Spoonapple dishes it up, it somehow becomes more palatable. And dish it up she does in Fountain Hills Youth Theater’s production of “Dear Edwina JR.” which runs April 22–May 1. In this one-act musical, the extraordinary teen—sort of a singing version of Dear Abby—directs the neighborhood kids in a series of cheerful production numbers.
Hunter DiGrazia is Edwina, Connor Klein plays Bobby, Elle Feinstein is Kelly and David Woods plays both Scott and Vlad.
For her FHYT performance as Sara Crewe in “The Little Princess: Sara Crewe,” Hunter received a 2013 ariZoni Award for best actress in a major role of a youth musical. Other roles at FHYT include Tiger Lily in “Peter Pan and Wendy” and Jasmine in Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.”
Connor, Elle and David also appeared in “Peter Pan and Wendy”—Connor as Michael, Elle as Peter Pan’s Shadow and Tinker Bell, and David as John. In addition, Connor and David were seen in FHYT’s production of Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.,” and Elle appeared in FHYT’s “The Little Princess: Sara Crewe.”
With book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich, the creators of “Junie B. Jones, The Musical,” “Dear Edwina JR.” follows a “show-within-a-show” format. It played Off-Broadway for three seasons at Daryl Roth’s DR2 Theatre and is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.
Additional cast members include Zach Acridge (Farmer Jerry/Johnny), Audrey Alcorn (Cordell), Elizabeth Campbell (Abigail), Sarah Cihak (Carrie), Lachlan Henderson (Becky/Frank’s Ma), Kaitlyn Hohl (Annie/Queen of Boolah Boolah), Luke Hurney (Lars/Frank/Harry), Iris (Katie/Aphrodite), Makayla Lopez (Billy), Emily Ref (Susie), Josie Sand (Chef Ludmilla/Lola), Erin Schumacher (Mary Sue Betty Bob), Morgan Tuazon (Ziggy), Isabella Valdivieso (Periwinkle) and Sophia (Fairy Fork Mother).
“Dear Edwina JR.” is produced by Anne Kelleher and Leah Klein and choreographed by Jenny Iverson. It will be directed by Katie Male and musically directed by Haylee Klein, both high school seniors and first-time directors for FHYT.
Kelleher is also responsible for costume design and hair and makeup. Other members of the creative team include Ross Collins; set design, light design, sound design; Marcie Rozalsky, properties; Devin Derr, stage manager; Sarah Brown, student stage manager, Chloe Rozalsky, light technician and Alex Hurney, sound technician.
Though kid-friendly, word has it that “Dear Edwina JR.” is just as enjoyable for adults.
FHYT is located at 11445 N. Saguaro Boulevard in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Order tickets online or by calling the box office at 480-837-9661.