BWW Review: Childsplay Presents JUNIE B. JONES IS NOT A CROOK
Reliving the innocence of youth comes only second to the joy of watching children experience theirs. Childsplay's production of Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook is based off of the beloved book series by Barbara Park, featuring the hyperactive, imaginative Junie B. Jones as the star.
Kate Haas plays the titular character Junie B., her enthusiasm and energy absolutely contagious. It is an incredibly difficult task to portray a child without coming off as inauthentic and cheesy, yet Haas accomplishes it with ease. The rest of the cast does an amazing job keeping the energy high throughout, playing their characters with such joy.
Although a children's production, Junie B. Jones is by no means shallow. Junie B. and her friends face various dilemmas and moral lessons, including forgoing selfish desires and the power of friendship. The show provides children with great principles, including instructions on what to do when they find something that is not theirs (return to the school lost and found), and the idea that friendship is not based off of material things, but common weirdness.
The most captivating scenes would undoubtedly be the various dream sequences, in which fantastic lighting by light designer Jennifer Setlow highlights Junie B.'s wildest fantasies, which include scribbling with her new marker across various walls, aided by friends.
It is an absolute treat to revisit one's childhood, as well as witness the production through the eyes of those younger around you. Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook is a wonderful production appropriate for all ages, and an adorable production to see with family!
Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook continues its run at at Tempe Center for the Arts through October 16. Tickets can be purchased at www.childsplayaz.org or at the Tempe Center for the Arts Box Office (480) 350-2822 (ext. 2)
Photo credit: Tim Trumble Photo