Mari's Moments

Theater review: Casa Mañana Theatre “School House Rock Live Jr.”

The Casa production of “School House Rock Live Jr.” runs through February 21.
The Casa production of “School House Rock Live Jr.” runs through February 21. Casa Mañana Theatre

Based on the popular 1970s cartoon, School House Rock Live Jr. is a walk down memory lane for those who grew up watching the animated explanations of school subjects such as history, grammar and math.

What it’s about: The Casa production follows Tom (Christopher J. Deaton), a nervous substitute teacher, who is starting his first day of teaching. As he begins his lesson plan for the day, his imagination goes wild with characters seen on the School House Rock television series.

Dori (Monqiue Abry), Dina (Alyssa Gardner), Joe (Zak Reynolds), George (Rashaun Sibley) and Shulie (Laura Wetsel) all take turns helping Tom come up with innovative ways to teach his class through song and dance.

What parents will like: Those familiar with the clever School House Rock tunes will get a kick out of some of the modern alterations made during the performance including a witty rendition of “Interplanet Janet” that cleverly tackles Pluto’s planet designation. With a 20-minute intermission, the play clocks in around 1 hour and 45 minutes and is appropriate for the youngest of theatergoers.

What kids will like: Deaton is well cast as the exuberant yet apprehensive teacher and all the cast members do a great a job of involving the children in the audience. There is even a moment when child volunteers are called to the stage to be part of the production. The songs are smartly taken directly from the original TV series so even children unfamiliar with the series will be able to hum and sing along to the catchy tunes.

Good to know: Casa Mañana is teaming up with Fort Worth Independent School District for a book drive during the run of School House Rock Live Jr. Bring a new book to the theatre when you see the performance and be entered to win a Casa Prize Pack. All books will be donated to Fort Worth schools.

Maricar Estrella: 817-390-7720, @maricare

SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK LIVE JR.

Recommended for: All ages

When: Through February 21

Where: Casa Mañana Theatre, 3101 West Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth

Cost: $16-$35

Info: www.casamanana.org

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