BWW Review: JPAS Presents TUCK EVERLASTING

BWW Review: JPAS Presents TUCK EVERLASTING
Photo: John B. Barrios

If someone told you they had the secret to eternal life and they wanted to share it with you, would you take them up on the offer? It sounds pretty good, right? Living forever. Getting to see the highs and lows of humanity, travel the world, experience different cultures, live through every period of time to ever exist, have the most diverse wardrobe imaginable (gotta keep up with the times, right?), maybe even solve some of the world's greatest mysteries or cure a disease, and all the while avoid what we fear the most... death. If you could, would you?

These are the questions Winnie Foster has to answer herself after befriending the Tuck family. See... the Tucks did find the secret to eternal life. They accidentally came across a spring in the woods, stopped for a drink, and after some time realized that none of them were aging. They were forever frozen in time, and after Winnie spent some time with them, Winnie starting thinking that being with her pal Jesse (the youngest Tuck) and going on adventures together for the rest of their lives sounded enticing. It wasn't until the older tuck brother, Miles had a chat with her about how he lost his wife and son that Winnie started to see the other side.

Essentially, if you drink from the spring but your friends and family don't, you are destined to watch them fade away. And if you truly do live forever and start a life with new folks over and over, you lose them again and again. The reality of the situation once the smoke screens are pulled away starts looking less like an adventure and more like a life sentence. Throughout the course of TUCK EVERLASTING, we see Winnie struggling to decide if this is the kind of life she truly wants to live.

Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) really outdid themselves with this production.

The scenic design by Kristin Blatchord and Rod Oden was absolutely stunning. The large pieces moved smoothly, the colors were vibrant and exciting, and can we talk about the tree for a minute? This gorgeous tree that was constructed for the show spanned the whole height of the stage from the floor to the top of the proscenium allowing Winnie and Jesse to climb all the way to the top. It was absolutely incredible.

If you haven't heard the music for TUCK EVERLASTING jump online and listen to it right now. It's one of the most gorgeous soundtracks I've heard. The music is vibrant and fun and heartfelt and almost has... don't quote me on this I'm just going off of what my untrained ears heard... an Irish flair to it. It's one that I can blast in the car to pump me up in the morning, or put on in the evening and relax to. It's equally inspiring, motivating, and thought provoking.

The talent in this cast was also remarkable. Leading the production were Bree Hollis as wide-eyed Winnie Foster and Aaron Richert as adventurous Jesse Tuck. Both have extremely powerful voices and paired perfectly together on stage. Kristopher Lloyd Shaw was both creepy and infuriating as The Man in the Yellow Suit, which was so perfect. Jonathan Damare, who played Hugo, kept me laughing the whole time. And Melissa Cotton Hunter and Patrick Hunter were the parents you always dreamed you had as Mae and Angus Tuck. Bryce Slocumb portrayed a very sobering but caring Miles Tuck, and Chrissy Bowen was Winnie's nurturing voice of reason as Betsy Foster.

Congrats to the cast and crew for putting on quite a show! Coming up next from JPAS is THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. You won't want to miss it. Check out jpas.org or call 504-885-2000 for tickets and more information. See you there!

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From This Author Heidi Scheuermann

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