A young orphan, two domineering aunts, magic crocodile tongues, and a giant peach can only mean one thing – “James and the Giant Peach.”
The Inly Players will be performing the Roald Dahl favorite as the Inly School’s community-based production for this year.
“It's community based in two ways: we include many of our Inly community members — students, parents, board members, faculty, staff and alumni — and, we open the show to the entire South Shore community,” said Donna Milani Luther, Head of School.
Milani Luther, who always participates in the school performances, has the role of “Spiker,” one of the “atrocious aunts.”
“We love to present musicals that are based in children's literature,” Milani Luther said. “James and the Giant Peach is a Roald Dahl classic.”
There are 15 adults and 40 students involved with the performance, which is being directed by award-winning director, actress and designer Martha Sawyer. This is Sawyer’s 12th season with the Inly Players.
Cal Antico, a 7th grade student from Cohasset, has the role of “James.”
“I wanted to be in this play because a lot of my friends were doing it like usual and we always have a lot of fun doing things backstage or after rehearsal, so it just makes it a lot of fun,” he said. “Also, I think that the show is really fun to perform because of how creative you can be with it.”
Cal’s favorite part about the role is that he is able to interact with a lot of characters.
“And I also get to do songs with some of my really good friends as well as also getting the opportunity to really drive the show,” he said.
Spending time with her friends, who are also involved with the production, was one of the reasons Fifth-grader Emelia Dziedzic joined the show. She plays a bug and a seagull in the ensemble.
“It helps me get involved with the school, and I love performing, so being on stage had filled me with great joy,” said Emelia, who is from Scituate. “This show is exiting, with a cool and funny plot line. People will experience an entertaining and memorable event.”
Last year Emelia played “Dorothy” in the school’s production of “The Wiz,” and she said she had a lot of responsibilities in that role.
“Getting a smaller role has allowed me to relax and see the whole show take shape,” she said. “I am still getting the chance to be on stage and that is very rewarding.”
Norwell resident Oliver Bowman Massey, who is in the fourth grade, plays “Buzz,” a garden bug, and also plays a seagull.
“I wanted to be in this play because the story and the music are so much fun to do and the choreography makes it even better,” he said. “I like how my roles are all different and how they all have fun songs and costumes.”
Hazel Orth, an 8th grader from Hingham, plays the character of “Spider.”
“I wanted to be in the play because I love theater and the performing arts,” she said. “Participating in the Inly shows have always been really fun for me. It is my last year at Inly, and I had previously only performed in one of the Inly Players shows so I wanted to do another as part of my final year.”
She likes that Spider is really focused on solving problems and making sure that the solutions are the best for everyone.
“She is also responsible and wants all of her ‘family’ to be the best versions of themselves, which is really fun to play off of," she added.
All agree the show has a lot to offer its audience.
“There are also some bits and pieces that will definitely make everyone laugh,” Cal said. “Another great reason to see the show is that I think many people watching will really love how the parents also join in making the show just that much more fun to be in and to watch.”
Oliver thinks people should see this play “because it is so funny and the story is incredible and a bonus is that a Broadway actor is doing the show alongside all of the Inly players.”
Hazel shares the same thought.
“People should see the show because it is really upbeat and whimsical,” she said. “It creates a really fun environment. It also has really fun characters and a creative plot.”
The Inly Players will present “James and the Giant Peach” at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 6; Saturday, March 7, at 1 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.; and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 8. All performances will take place at the Meehan Family Artsbarn at the Inly School, 46 Watch Hill Drive. All tickets are $25. Shows are open to the public. To purchase tickets visit www.inlyschool.org.
Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth.