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Review: SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, MR. HATCH - Beloved Children's Book Becomes Musical Delight

Now through May 22nd.

Review: SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, MR. HATCH - Beloved Children's Book Becomes Musical Delight

ZACH Theatre presents a joyous new musical, SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, MR. HATCH, based on the popular 1991 book by Eileen Spinelli. Adapted for the stage and directed by Emmy winner, Allen Robertson, the show is a heart shaped jewel that everyone can enjoy, no matter your age.

Narrated by Melanie Todd (Chloe Van De Graaf, Stella Frye Ginsber and Lila Gonzalez in rotation) the story follows Mr. Hatch (Nathan Jerkins) through his solitary daily routine. He wakes alone, goes to work alone, eats alone and buys his newspaper and dinner alone, every day in an unending cycle. The repetition is broken when a surprise package is delivered by the postman, with a note that says, "Somebody loves you". It's these three words that open a whole new world to Mr. Hatch, a world where he meets his neighbors, Mr. Smith (Paul Sanchez) and Ms. Todd (Amber Quick) and becomes a beloved member of his community. When it's discovered that the anonymous package should have been delivered to another address, Mr. Hatch loses his newfound joy and resumes his solitary existence. Never fear, his neighbors show him just how much they love him, he finally understands that life is better when shared with others. It's a beautiful story with a valuable message and ZACH's production makes a special story into an extraordinary play.

Playwright, composer and director, Allen Robertson has a golden touch when it comes to theatre for young audiences. His use of achingly beautiful music, earnest lyrics and just the right amount of audience participation in SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, MR. HATCH makes this show a must see for everyone. Robinson creates a magical world that enraptures everyone within its reach.

The cast is simply spectacular starting with Stella Frye Ginsber (as Melanie the performance I attended). She centers the show bursting with an engaging energy and an achingly pure voice that belies her age. The ever incredible Amber Quick as Ms.Todd gives us a fantastic performance as the overworked mother of Melanie. Nathan Jerkens is brilliant as the title character, his joy and sadness makes us feel every moment of his journey. Perhaps my favorite of the cast is Paul Sanchez as Mr. Smith the owner of the local newsstand. His love of performing is evident in his every moment on stage and his heavenly tenor voice gives me goosebumps. Before the show, the cast (except for Mr. Hatch) welcomes the excited audience into the theatre space choosing children and adults to participate in the performance. Every single child chosen to shout out lines on cue were fantastic. It is indeed a lovely thing to see the attendees creating part of the magic.

Theatre for young audiences and families has a special place in my heart. Allen Robertson's SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, MR. HATCH at ZACH's Kleberg Stage is a full banquet of joy.

SOMEBODY LOVES YOU, MR. HATCH

Written and Directed by Allen Robertson

Based on the book by Eileen Spinelli

ZACH Theatre, Klegberg Stage, 1510 Toomey Road, Austin

April 26 - May 22, 2022

Tickets: $12 - $22, Zachtheatre.org/education



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