BWW Review: BARNUM at North Fort Myers High School
BARNUM at North Fort Myers High School, directed by Janelle Laux, is a spectacular show. The students at NFMHS have clearly put in incredible effort, once again, to this year's theatre production, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
Michael Johnson plays Phineas Taylor Barnum, and he was fantastic. He most definitely has the charisma to portray such a unique leading character, and his talent was evident in his performance. He and the actress portraying Chairy Barnum, Katie Means, also led last year's production of MARY POPPINS at NFMHS as Bert and Mary Poppins, respectively. They are both wonderful, and it was great to see them back on the NFMHS stage once again.
Each scene was introduced by the Ringmaster (Mackenzie Crawford), and she did a spectacular job captivating the audience's attention and directing them to what was happening, or about to happen, on stage. The acts Barnum gathered for his show included Joice Heith (Morgan Bruewer), Tom Thumb (Alex Leeds), and Jenny Lind (Isabelle Blanco). They were all excellent, and the conflicts Blanco's Jenny brought to the Barnums' marriage made for a very interesting dynamic. The aerialists, dancers, and rest of the cast of BARNUM also did a great job making this production grand.
The opening night of BARNUM did come with some technical difficulties, but I give huge props to these students for carrying on with the show as if nothing was wrong. This showed a great amount of professionalism and is very hard to do, so I must commend them for such.
North Fort Myers High School has gone all out with BARNUM. Several cast members were outside, greeting audience members as they entered the school, and it was all set up like a carnival; juggling, balloon animals, and snacks included. This was a very nice detail, and it added to the fun of the show before the show even started.
BARNUM is playing at North Fort Myers High School through Sunday, April 14; definitely check it out this weekend if you have the chance. To get tickets, visit: https://gofan.co/app/school/FL16976/Performing-Arts?fbclid=IwAR32Y0SLkUINgtbS6eA4-zGbPCuvkQKqDrYiPH2kSqAo4MQ3OiuVB_dqqMk, or you can purchase them at the door. NFMHS is located at 5000 Orange Grove Blvd, North Fort Myers, Florida 33903.