Theater review: ‘Tuck Everlasting’ barks up the right tree

Gazing at TheatreWorks’ special holiday production of the musical “Tuck Everlasting” is a little like going to an old-timey carnival, complete with a barker/con man, showgirls, cotton candy, band music, and, in place of a Ferris wheel, a gigantic, gnarly tree to climb.

Yet the most amazing sight is actually a little sprite of a girl, just 11 years old and with a voice as big as all outdoors. As Winnie, impish, excitable and adorable Natalie Schroeder (who shares the role with Katie Maupin on alternate performances) practically carries the show on her tiny shoulders — she’s that good.

Enter Eddie Grey as Jesse Tuck, her cohort in all things mischievous, who is equally as astounding, charming and adorable — though he’s a few years past 11 (in the play he’s 17 … or maybe 102).

This “age” mix-up is the crux of the “Tuck Everlasting” storyline, improbable though it sounds. Honestly now, it’s hard to take a story seriously — even if it takes place in 1893 — if all you have to do is drink from a spring below a tree in the forest and — viola! You stay the same age forever.

While that does sound terrific — at least the part about never growing old, never getting aches and pains, and always looking handsome or beautiful, there apparently are some downsides.

For the Tuck family (mother, dad, two sons), refreshing themselves from that spring years ago has meant they now have to pick up and move to a new house and a new community about every decade — otherwise, the neighbors start wondering why they never age.

So when Jesse catches Winnie about to take a drink from “that” spring, he stops her just in time (else she’ll be 11 forever). To divert her attention from the spring, he starts climbing up …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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