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BWW Review: ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY at Adventure Theatre

BWW Review: ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY at Adventure Theatre
The cast of Adventure Theatre's production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Photo by Michael Horan.

We all have bad days; it's inevitable. Something happens to us every once in a while that turns our day from good to bad. However, nothing can top the day that twelve-year-old Alexander has in Adventure Theatre's latest offering, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Alexander's (Christian Montgomery) worst day ever starts off right when he gets out of bed. He trips over a skateboard and his day promptly goes downhill from there. His mom (Sally Horton) forgets to pack a dessert in his lunch and he goes from being Paul's (Tiziano D'Affuso) best friend to Paul's third best friend. Then there's the traumatizing event during an outing to a shoe store with his siblings Anthony and Nick (Sophie Schulman and Sylvern Groomes Jr.). That's just a sampling of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that Alexander endures.

I have seen many shows where the author tries to adapt a book or screenplay to the stage and fails miserably because they don't have a sense of theatricality. Judith Viorst has successfully written her own book and lyrics with composer Shelly Markham. The score only consists of a handful of songs, but they all sound great thanks to the always great work of musical director/orchestrator/arranger William Yanesh. The pre-recorded music track sounds almost as natural as a pit full of live players.

Director Cara Gabriel keeps the show to a nice tight 48 minutes. There's plenty to keep the adults entertained as well as the kids.

Christian Montgomery carries this show with the appropriate amount of angst for an overly dramatic twelve-year-old boy. He is also very talented at singing badly and off-key (it's intentional, folks), which is hard for a performer.

Other standout performances include Daniel Westbrook as a rockstar type of shoe salesman and Sally Horton as the hilarious and artsy teacher Mrs. Dickens. Tiziano D'Affuso, Sophie Schulman, Linda Bard, and Sylvan Groomes Jr. round out the very talented cast.

The technical creative elements also make a positive impression. April Joy Vester's colorful set gets a well-deserved boost of brightness from Jason Arnold's lighting. It also makes Jeanette Christensen's costumes really pop. Andrea "Dre" Moore's props and puppets once again keep the audience mesmerized. Ashleigh King's choreography for the opening number "If I Were in Charge of the World" resembles a good, old fashioned opening to a Broadway show.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day at Adventure Theatre will ensure you and your family have a terrific, fantastic, fabulous, great day at the theater. Check this one out for sure.

Running Time: 48 minutes with no intermission.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day runs through March 31, 2018 at Adventure Theatre, which is located in Glen Echo Park at 7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD. For tickets, click here.

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