BWW Review: POLKADOTS: THE COOL KIDS MUSICAL is Rocking at The Children's Theatre

BWW Review: POLKADOTS: THE COOL KIDS MUSICAL is Rocking at The Children's Theatre

It's "a new day" at The Children's Theatre as their Showtime Series at Red Bank presents: Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical. Now playing through March 25, 2018! Polkadots tells the story of a young middle schooler, Lily Polkadot, who joins a new school, Rockaway, which has only had "Square" students in the past. She is made fun of by a bratty classmate, Penelope Square, who has been raised to think that Polkadots are less than Squares. Lily has to drink from the Polkadot Pump instead of the Square Sprinkler that everyone else drinks out of, sits alone at lunch, but all the while tries not to let words affect her. She gets frustrated when she feels like she has no chance of making friends, but Penelope's brother, Sky Square, has taken an interest in Lily and thinks her polka-dot skin is beautiful. The two become unlikely friends, and help to show others that the differences that we all possess are what make us unique and cool!

Leading the show as Lily Polkadot is the lovely Sarah Huff. Ms. Huff perfectly captures the essence of a young girl who is trying to adjust to a new school surrounding and tells Lily's story beautifully. Her first big solo in the show, "Sticks and Stones" was one of the highlights of the show as her voice, and stage presence lit up the stage and got you on Lily's side.

Playing opposite Huff as Sky Square is Rocky Paterra. Paterra's incredible voice and nerdy charm were showcased in his solo: "Beautiful", which he sings about discovering Lily's uniqueness. He had the audience in his hand every time he was onstage. Paterra was also very good with the children. At one point in the show, children are invited to get up and do the same dance that the performers are doing onstage. Paterra went right out into the audience and politely asked a little girl: "Will you dance with me?" and helped her through the steps which was an adorable sight.

Zoe Jensen plays Sky Square's bratty older sister, Penelope. You may have seen her as Wendy Darling earlier this year in TCT's production of Peter Pan Jr! Jensen is a standout as her wide vocal range wows the audience, and her "popular middle school" personality that she portrays makes her very believable in the role.

Finishing off the four-person cast is Ohio native, Shani Hadjian who plays Mrs. Square/Mama Square. In the colorful and chaotic world of Rockaway, Hadjian was a very calming presence. Her duet with Huff, "The First", was so heartwarming. She explains how she can relate to Lily because Mrs. Square was also an outsider at the school when she first started working there, but she's glad she persevered so that she could teach the "first polkadot": Lily.

This story holds so much relevance in today's society. It is so vital for all kids, and people in general, to know that their differences are not weaknesses, but strengths! Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical is the perfect outing to entertain your kids, as well as help them learn a very valuable lesson. As they sing in the finale song: "We are the next generation of thoughts, so you better beware." The children in the audience were very invested in the story and seemed to respond well to the message. The audience members are sure to leave The Children's Theatre not only with a smile on their faces but also lots of love in their hearts.

Photo by Mikki Schaffner

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From This Author Anne Simendinger

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