The world’s funniest kid comes to the Norvell Theatre next week

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

Josh Wainright

Piedmont Players Theatre

It’s Junie B. Jones’ first day of first grade and a lot of things have changed for her: Junie’s friend Lucille (Sari Lewin) doesn’t want to be her best pal anymore, and on the bus, Junie B. (Emery Franz) makes friends with Herb (Connor Towns), the new kid at school.

Also, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher Mr. Scary (Garrett Kennedy) thinks she may need glasses. Throw in a friendly cafeteria lady (Sara Beth Richard), a kickball tournament and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” and first grade has never been more exciting.

Created by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, the team that brought you Dear Edwina, comes Junie B. Jones The Musical — a delightful adaptation of Barbara Park’s best-selling books:  Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl; Junie B. Jones First Grader at Last!; Junie B. Jones Boss of Lunch; Junie B. First Grader Toothless Wonder; Top Secret Personal Beeswax, A Journal by Junie B. (And Me).

With 30 titles and translated into over a dozen languages, the book series has sold more than 60 million books and was heralded as “the darling of the young-reader set” by USA Today while spending over 180 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Consistently a classroom favorite, the stories of this outrageously funny kindergartener have kept kids (and their grownups) laughing — and reading — for more than two decades.

The Piedmont Players Theatre version, opening next Thursday at the Norvell Theater, brings the books to life in a genuinely comical, and not strictly-for-kids musical and is sure to awaken young people’s desire to read with the sassy little diva Junie B. Jones and her adventures in first grade.

Featuring tremendously loveable characters and fun-filled songs, PPT’s “Junie B. Jones: The Musical” will capture the hearts of theatre-goers just as the books captivated an entire generation of students. Park once said of the series, “I’ve never been sure whether Junie B.’s fans love her in spite of her imperfections … or because of them.” Come to the Norvell and judge for yourself!

“Junie B. Jones” plays at the Norvell Theater, 135 E. Fisher St., April 14-16 and 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on April 16, 17 and 23 at 2:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $12, students/seniors $10. For tickets call 704-633-5471 or purchase online at piedmontplayers.com

Producing Partners are Owen & Elizabeth Norvell.

MEET THE CAST

Junie B. Jones: Emery Franz

Bobbie Jean Piper: Lucy Black

Grace: Maggie Cross

Camille: August Hoffman

Mother: Korbynne Hill

Chenille: Kelsey Goodman

Daddy: Alex Blumenthal

Mrs. Gutzman: Sara Beth Richard

Jose: Ali Khatib

Lucille: Sari Lewin

Lennie: Drew Bitzer

Herb: Connor Towns

Mr. Scary: Garrett Kennedy

Sheldon: Cooper Fleeman

May: Miles Abramson

Ensemble: Reagan Carpenter, Eva Walters and Ashley Yang

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