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Magic Theatre hunts for 'Saber Tooth Squirrel'
'Peter and the Wolf' adaptation runs through Aug. 11 in Yuba City
'Peter and the Saber Tooth Squirrel'
TIMES: 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 11
WHERE: The Magic Theatre, 815 B St., Yuba City
"Peter and the Saber Tooth Squirrel," presented by the Magic Theatre, will be staged at The Acting Company at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 11.
Written and directed by John Elliott, the play follows a similar storyline to the Russian classic "Peter and the Wolf," the children's symphony with music and text composed by Sergei Prokofiev in 1936.
"It did begin as 'Peter and the Wolf,' non-musical. I wanted to do a version of the story without any of the famous music by Prokofiev," Elliott said.
"But it turns out that even the title is under copyright, so really quickly, about at the time of auditions, we came up with a new title: 'Peter and the Saber Tooth Squirrel.'
"The story is basically a tribute to Prokofiev. It's the story of a little boy named Peter (Joshua Keiser) in Russia who decides he is going to be a hunter, and with the help of his friends — the Bird (Tristan Lauer), the Cat (Mackenna Hathaway) and the Duck (Mary Scully) — they deal with the Wolf (Talia Helder)," Elliott said.
"It's a pretty simple story. They go hunting for the Saber Tooth Squirrel (Trinity Lauer) and they find the wolf."
The cast includes Aiden Hayes, Andrew Hayes, Grayson Hayes, and Dan Salamone.
"The story is universal, but we keep it set in the early 1900s," Elliott said.
"I've directed main stage shows, but this is the third Magic Theatre I've done. My versions of both 'Gretel and Hansel' and 'The Three Little Pigs' ('Wolf Side Story') had many twists and were just totally the story turned upside down.
"This doesn't really have that. This is just really straightforward. This story I didn't mess around with other than to add the saber tooth squirrel. It's basically the story as it is," Elliott said.
He added that the cast is very dedicated — "and so are their parents who get them here to rehearsals. It has been easy to work with them, and everybody is having a good time — and that's what really counts," he said.
"My philosophy is: If the cast is having a good time, the audience will have a good time," Elliott said.
"Come out to see a good, short show of a good story with a good cast. It's more fun than the movies."