Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre presents ‘The Jungle Book Kids’

The jungle is jumpin’ with jazz as the Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre Summer Stars 2007 series opens at the KCC Performing Arts Center, presenting Disney’s “The Jungle Book Kids” in three special performances this weekend, July 6, 7, 8. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets for the shows are $8 from cast members and $9 at the box office. The show is appropriate for children age 3 and up.

The HCT Summer Stars series is a yearly program that features plays, selected specifically for and cast totally with, students in second grade through 12th grade. This year there are two companies, with the “Jungle Book” production showcasing second through sixth grade students, and the second production, “High School Musical,” featuring students in seventh through 12th grade, plus returning HCT college students. “High School Musical” opens and runs July 13, 14, and 15.

Disney’s “The Jungle Book Kids” is adapted from the classic Disney animated feature film based on the Rudyard Kipling novel about a young human child raised by wolves and befriended by animals in the jungle. But the presence of Mowgli, the human child, in the jungle is discomforting to some animals and Shere Khan, the powerful tiger, decides that Mowgli is not welcome. Bagheera, the panther, wants to return Mowgli to the safety of the human village, but Mowgli is reluctant to go.

The jungle swings with familiar songs like “The Bare Necessities,” “I Wan’na Be Like You” and “Trust in Me.”

Some 35 children from across the island have been cast in the show, and include Cameron Williamson playing Shere Khan, Nai’a Delviscovo as a wolf and member of the jungle chorus, and Jessica Palmer, the youngest member of the elephant troupe, whoo is appearing in her first production.

Other cast members include: Ke‘alohi Anderson, Alyssa Beeksma, Macie Berrett, Sofia Castillo, Noah Cabello, Beorn Chantara, Alanna Dobbins, Kait-lyn Downer, Cal Feller, Kilinoe Garcia, Iyana Ischay, Ethan Jeal, Ashley Larkin, Rye Liddle, Jonathan Lindsey, Malia Manipon, Violet Martin, Zoe McGinnis, Marina Mireles, Sierra Mireles, Kiana Okino, Chloe Olson, Kai Olson, Makenna Olson, Cody Palmer, Malia Peterson, Tessa Ramsey, Rachael Scheidel, Shannon Smith, Leanna Thesken, Ethan Whatmore and Sharon Whatmore.

The Summer Stars series provides an opportunity for students of all ages and experience levels to participate in a professionally directed theatre production,” said Melissa Speetjens. “Whether it’s their first time on stage or they are performance veterans, the students will gain insight into the world of theatre in a fun and enlightening atmosphere.”

For more information on the Summer Stars production of Disney’s “The Jungle Book Kids, “or to purchase tickets for the July 6, 7, and 8 shows call 246-8985. Visit the HCT Web site at www.hawaiichildrenstheatre.com to view the Study Guide for this production, and learn about the fall production, “Big River.”

E-mail HCT at hawaiichildrenstheatre@hotmail.com.

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