BWW Reviews: OPQRS, ETC. is Fun for All Ages at RLT

The latest project of Raleigh Little Theatre's Youth Series is a modern-day fable called OPQRS, Etc. OPQRS, Etc. is the story of Otto the Official, who is always right and has decided that orange is the official - and only - color in the town. "O" is declared by Otto to be the best letter, and children learn their OPQs instead of ABCs. To add to the orange oppression, Otto has given every townsperson one specific character trait - silly, quiet, and so on - to which that person must adhere. It's not until art student Edward Johnson wanders into town that the people realize just how terribly Otto is treating them. Eventually, they discover that no person is just one thing, and the world needs all the colors to be interesting. It's a new spin on the always-worthwhile be-true-to-yourself lesson.

OPQRS, Etc. is a show that reaches kids without pandering to them, talking down to them, or patronizing them. It tells an interesting story in a way that many children simply aren't exposed to on a regular basis. The children in the audience are clearly engaged in thought-provoking theater for the entire hour or so.

The set is detailed, well-planned, caringly crafted, and outrageously orange. The cast is led by the dynamic Jesse R. Gephart as Otto the Official, and the actors all do a great job of creating characters that tell the story without going over the top, as sometime happens in youth-oriented theater. The result is a piece that children will love, adults will enjoy, and which carries a message that everyone will benefit from.

OPQRS, Etc. takes place in the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre at Raleigh Little Theatre. The show runs through March 30. For tickets and more information, visit www.raleighlittletheatre.org. While appropriate for children of all ages, children between second and sixth grade will especially enjoy this production.

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Larisa Mount Larisa has been a Broadway fan since before she can remember. When she's not teaching kindergarten, she's seeing every show possible! Her three favorite shows are Hair, Spring Awakening, and In the Heights.


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