The citizens of Toyland are preparing to do battle with the evil Barnaby. M&M Stage Productions presents the holiday musical extravaganza “Babes in Toyland” at The Kelsey Theatre in November. Dates and show times for this holiday classic are Fridays, Nov. 18 and 25 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Nov. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Nov. 20 and 27 at 2 p.m. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Nov. 18.
Kelsey Theatre is located on MCCC’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. The theater is an official drop-off site for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign and is accepting new, unwrapped toys now through Dec. 12. (There will be a special toy sale in the lobby during performances of “Babes” to give patrons a convenient way to purchase and donate on the spot.)
This musical by Victor Herbert brings to life various beloved characters from Mother Goose nursery rhymes, all of whom live in Toyland. It’s a wonderful place to call home, except that they must share their town with the wicked Barnaby, the original Grinch! Barnaby is intent on ruining the holidays for all by foreclosing on their homes and stealing their money. He also has his evil eyes set on marrying the adorable Contrary Mary by kidnapping her boyfriend, Tom Tom, the Piper’s son, to get him out of the way. Family audiences will root for them all – Jack and Jill, Little Miss Muffet, Simple Simon, Little Boy Blue, Little Bo-Beep and many more – who will band together to protect their friends and their town.
Starring in “Babes” are: Amy Bessellieu of Lawrenceville as Hilda; Alexa Comeau of Princeton as Contrary Mary; Gina Drigant of Bensalem, Pa., as Widow Piper; Richard Kirschner of Belle Mead as the Toymaker; Michael Marrero as Alan, Barnaby’s nephew; Connor McDowell of Levittown, Pa., as Tom Tom; Marina McLaughlin of Columbus as Jane, Barnaby’s niece; Dan Mucha of Yardville as Roderigo; Ron SanGiovanni of Burlington as Gonzorgo; Hudson Waller of Kendall Park as Grumio; Joe Zedeny of East Windsor as Marmaduke; and John Zimmerman of Hamilton as Barnaby.
Also featured are Nicholas Benedetti of Ewing as Tommy Tucker; Sawyer Berness of Pennington as Peter Pumpkin Eater; Addison Blumberg of Margate as Curly Locks; Roman Engel of Hamilton as Simple Simon; Maya Karp of Marlboro as Red Riding Hood/Fairy; Dylan Katz of West Windsor as Boy Blue; Makenna Katz of West Windsor as Little Miss Muffet; Maddie Keelan of Hamilton as Bo Peep; Jack May of Millstone as Jack (of Jack and Jill); Isabella Papaccio of Hamilton as Jill (of Jack and Jill); Alexis Pulsinelli of Bordentown as Sally Waters; and Andrew Reiman of Yardville as Bobby Shafto.
The ensemble includes Eliyana Abraham of Penndel, Pa., Isabelle Bannon of Princeton, Evan Chartock of Princeton Junction, Madelyn Chartock of Princeton Junction, Isabella Colon of Hamilton, Linda Colon of Hamilton, Whitney Daniels of Willingboro, Stacy Danka of Allentown, Carter Erickson of Yardley, Pa., Nolah Flynn of Yardley, Pa., Hope Ghaffoor of Yardville, Jenna Gottlieb of East Windsor, Robyn Kerachsky of Yardley, Pa., Abigail Leach of Yardley, Pa., Kaili Mack of Lawrenceville, Isabella Mellos of Princeton Junction, Shannon Mohan of Langhorne, Pa., Peyton Nolan of Yardville, Cara Pergament of Robbinsville, Anusha Qaisar of Robbinsville, Jonathan Ronen of Robbinsville, Shreya Savur of Robbinsville, Chris Schmalbach, Haley Schmalbach, Samantha Torillo of Hamilton, Kali Victor of Moorestown and Kaitlyn Young of Robbinsville.
The production team includes Producers Michael Almstedt and Michael DiIorio, Director Director Tom Bessellieu, Musical Director David Shirley, Choreographer Laura Murey Ghaffoor, and Stage Managers Chris Szemis and Tristan Takacs. Props are by Jill Katz, costumes are by Louisa Murey, and lighting is by M. Kitty Getlik.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students/children and may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.
Three more holiday treats come to Kelsey Theatre in December. The Kelsey Players present their annual performance of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” a musical based on Clement Moore’s beloved poem, from Dec. 2 to 4. Next up is Forte Dramatic Productions’ holiday variety show, “A Very Kelsey Christmas,” Dec. 10 and 11. Closing out the holiday festivities is “The Nutcracker,” an abridged family version presented by New Jersey Youth Ballet Dec. 16-18. Tickets for all shows are on sale now.
For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.