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January 8, 2013 > StarStruck premiers "A Little Princess"

StarStruck premiers "A Little Princess"

Submitted By Helen Chang

StarStruck Theatre presents the West Coast youth musical theatre premiere of the musical "A Little Princess" January 11-27 at the Smith Center, Ohlone College, in Fremont.

"This story is one of my favorites from childhood," says Lori Stokes, StarStruck Theatre Artistic Director. "I remember watching the Shirley Temple version over and over-I could recite every line!"

Stokes' daughter, Courtney, was in the cast of the Palo Alto-based TheatreWorks professional production when it premiered in their 2004 season as a new work. "When the rights recently became available to all theatre groups, I jumped at the chance to be the first youth musical company on the West Coast to do this show. This is an instant classic, and I am honored to share this emotionally-stirring story with Bay Area families."

The musical is loosely based on the beloved children's story by Frances Hodgson Burnett. With score written by composer Andrew Lippa ("The Addams Family"), book and lyrics by Brian Crawley ("Violet"), the story centers on young Sara Crewe, raised in Africa by her wealthy father, Captain Crewe. When he must leave on a secret mission for the Queen of England, he sends Sara to a prestigious boarding school in London. While there, she encounters the dour headmistress, Miss Minchin, who takes an instant disliking to her. Sara entertains the other schoolgirls with the fruits of her imagination, matches wits with Livinia-the school's resident "mean girl"-and befriends Becky, the poor servant girl. On Sara's 13th birthday she receives news of her father's death. The newly penniless girl is made a servant by Miss Minchin and forced to live in the cold attic. Sara, who refuses to accept that her father has died, proves that being a real princess takes heart, hope, and a little magic.

"The music soars with haunting melodies and beautiful four-part harmonies," says Nancy Godfrey, StarStruck Musical Director, who rehearses all the music with the young cast-putting them through their vocal paces-and recruits, rehearses, and conducts a live orchestra of grownup musicians. "It's a thrill to work with such talented kids, and watch them master the music so quickly."

Meanwhile, long-time StarStruck choreographer Jeanne Batacan-Harper promises some energetic and fast-paced dance numbers. "The driving, forceful African rhythms are infectious! You can't help bouncing in your seat!"

Reviving a popular feature from last year's production of "Tom Sawyer," a Talk-Back between the audience and principle cast members is scheduled for Friday night, January 18. The cast will be onstage after the show to answer questions from the audience. Friday, January 25 will be an ASL Interpreted performance.

Tickets are $26 for adults, $24 for seniors, and $20 for students and children. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. for Sunday matinees. Call the StarStruck box office at (510) 659-1319, or order tickets online:

A Little Princess
Jan 11 - 27
7:30 p.m. (Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.)
Smith Center at Ohlone College
Jackson Theatre
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 659-1319

Tickets: $20 - $26

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