BWW Review: CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Alhambra Theatre And Dining
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ian Fleming's classic musical has hit the Alhambra. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is centered around a widowed father, Caractacus Potts, who is determined to raise his two children in a world full of excitement. His children, Jeremy and Jemima are greatly imaginative, for example racing a broken-down car. Caractacus does everything in his power to buy the piece of junk car and fix it up for his children. Meanwhile, the Vulgarian spies, Doris and Goran, are plotting to steal the car for Baron Bomburst. Unbeknownst to the Vulgarians, the car known as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has special abilities. As the spies continue to try and steal the car, it magically floats and flies to get the Potts family out of danger. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a great spectacle of dance, music, and entertainment!
The Potts family captivated audiences in every scene. Caractacus, performed by, Shain Stroff, was a great treat. It is very difficult to step into a role famously originated by Dick Van Dyke, however he stepped up to the plate and was very entertaining. Stroff's dancing abilities were quite impressive. His part in "Me Ol' Bamboo" was exceptional. Every number Stroff performed was greatly entertaining and portrayed the emotions of a loving father and doting date to Miss Truly Scrumptious. Jeremy and Jemima Potts, played by Trey Murphy and Tatum Matthews, were absolutely adorable. They were very impressive keeping up with every number they were a part of. Whether they were singing, dancing, or even keeping up with their British accents, the audience was absolutely captivated by them.
In addition to the Potts family, the entire cast was phenomenal. The Vulgarian Spies, played by Joshua McKinney and Rachel Anton were hysterical. Each played the goofy, evil villain perfectly. They left the audiences laughing after all of their scenes. The Baron and Baroness, played by Kurt McCall and Lisa Valdini, were also very amusing. Their number "Chu-Chi Face" was so funny and the perfect amount of uncomfortable to make the audience nervously laugh at the relationship between the characters. The entire ensemble was supremely talented. Many playing various characters throughout the show and separating each very well. It was incredible how they made use of what little space they had for each of their dance numbers, and various scenes.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a wonderful piece that will be enjoyed by audience members of all ages. There are so many moving parts, including the flying car that is absolutely magical. I've seen various characters fly in musicals, but never a car. I was very impressed with how they managed to make that happen in the limited space they occupied. The show is a wonderful experience that will be fun for the whole family. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will be at the Alhambra now through July 29.