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THEATER REVIEW: Dr. Dolittle

by Chris Conley

When I saw 3rd-grader Emma Durkee dressed as a pig in pink tights with a curly tail, I knew this would be a tricky review to write. This is hands down the cutest cast that Wausau Community Theater has ever assembled. We have two dozen young people dressed as animals of various kinds, all so the good Dr. Dolittle can talk and interact with them. And all of the children were a delight to watch. I hope Savannah Johnson, Katie Huryk and Aliya Surti grow from pink sea snails, seals that look like old ladies, and bright yellow ducks into orphans in time for next falls production of Annie.

John Huryk is a very good Dr. Dolittle. He fits in mannerisms and voice. Realizing that he gets to sing to his daughter on-stage was a genuinely touching moment. Emily Cattanach took flight as Polynesia the Parrot, confident in her part and her lines.

I wish I could tell you I was enchanted by Wausau Community Theaters Dr. Dolittle. I wish cuteness and two outstanding individual performances could have carried that night. They dont. Dr. Dolittle has a long, dawdling book and too many songs that simply arent memorable. This is a musical thats caught in an unfortunate in-between-land. Its beyond the attention span of younger audiences; its not whimsical enough to capture the older crowd. I wish that a young, hard-working, enthusiastic cast had better material to work with.

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Wausau Community Theater announced its 2012-2013 season: Annie in September, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas in November, Jesus Christ Superstar in March, and Hair next June. This is a strong line-up. Heres to hoping for quality casts and good box office.

Chris Conley
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau
3.17.2012

There are two remaining performances of Dr. Dolittle at the Grand Theater in Wausau, Saturday evening at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 2:30.

By Doug Kline from Los Angeles, CA, USA [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons