Reviewed by Tom Noreen
Spiders. I like spiders and I really liked the Cedar Springs High School’s presentation of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web! Director Justin Harnden should be proud of the superb performance by the cast and crew of this children’s classic. With a cast of 39, and a crew of 13, not counting other student and parent volunteers, Justin did a great job.
Tinsley Nulph portrayed Charlotte with grace and compassion as she wove her web of magic to save Wilbur the pig from the smokehouse. Ian Murphy played Wilbur with relish, as he came to realize the value of friendship and sacrifice. Steven Kern excelled in his role as Templeton the greedy, self-centered and conniving rat. Molly McCarthy and Harrison Brown were spot-on in their performance as the stuttering Goose and Gander as were Dereck Sissell and Holly Lewis as the Sheep and Lamb.
Kristen Valentine (Fern) played her part as Wilbur’s first rescuer well, as did Seth Cosier and Rachel DeLeeuw, who portrayed her parents the Arables. Wyatt Phillips was delightful as her rambunctious younger brother, Avery. Shelby Hubble and Devin Burke had a great time playing Fern’s aunt and uncle, Edith and Homer, while Levi Velting definitely had the flair for his role as Lurvy their farmhand.
Sean Murphy, as the first place winning pig, Uncle, did a fine job of upstaging his older brother! The other members of the cast were wonderful in their roles. These included the story’s narrators Whitney Badge, Silver Gonzales, Corey Willette, and Kayla Ovokaitys, Katie Esakson (Reporter), Espen Haugland (Photographer), Alexis Lucarelli and Courtney Alvesteffer (Spectators), Morgan Bennett and Felicia Jones (Judges), Emilie Petty, Kylie Wells, Aaron Burton, and Claire Willette (Fair-goers), Kendall VanPutten, Sirena Johnson, Dalton VanEss, Taylor Atkins, Monique Wilks, and Kaci Clark (Crowd Members), Sean Herp (Announcer) and Nicole Clark, Briana Brugel, and Brooke Lubben (Little Spiders).
The crew was fantastic in keeping the show moving. Lights and sound were super. A big thanks to Student Directors Olivia Larsen and Autumn Fish, Stage Manager Brandon Jones, Costume Diva Kristie Rice, Sound Techs Kody Hall and Mitch McClees, Light Tech Brett Markosky, Sound FX RJ Moore, and Stagehands Mike Stafford, Jacob Detloff, Megan Brunett, Liz Moore, and Kate Miller.
The set design was fantastic. The large red barn, with its loft for Charlotte, filled the stage. Costumes were very well done.
The cast and crew should be proud of their successful and entertaining show! Thanks to the community and school administration for supporting the arts in Cedar Springs.