BWW Review: MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS at Virginia Repertory Theatre is Interactive Fun for the Whole Family
Virginia's largest professional musical theatre has something for everyone this holiday season, starting with MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS at The Children's Theatre at Willow Lawn. Based on the beloved 1938 children's book, the engaging and whimsical musical is the perfect way to introduce younger audiences to the performing arts.
Director Josh Chenard's immersive production is imaginative, fun and, at times, invites its audiences to become part of the experience. Under the musical direction of Jason Marks, the cast tackles George Howe's enjoyable score with ease. Choreography by Wes Seals is simple and effective.
Chris Raintree's clever pop-up-book set brings Mr. Popper's world to life. Larger than life books open up to reveal his house and other settings throughout the one-hour production. His sets are complemented by Anna Baldwin's creative, hand-designed props. Aside from Mr. Popper himself, Kylie Clark's crafty puppets are the stars of the show.
Derrick Jaques is animated and charming as the title character. His playful energy is matched by Renee McGowan's Mrs. Popper. Keaton Hillman and Emma-Claire Polich are wonderful and bring to life a plethora of distinct characters.
MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS runs through December 30 at the Children's Theatre at Willow Lawn.