Review: Goosebumps "Phantom of the Auditorium" The Musical at Coterie



ack to Front: Sara LaBarr (as Ms. Walker), Callie Rodina (as Brooke), Lily Nicholas (as Tina), David LeVota (as Brian), Evan J. Lovelace (as Emile), and Jacob Valle (as Zeke) in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium- The Musical. Adapted for the stage with book and lyrics by John Maclay, and Music, Lyrics, Orchestrations and Arrangements by Danny Abosch. Directed by Jeff Church. Live on stage at The Coterie, June 19 - August 5, 2018. Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

It's officially summer and that means it's officially time for a light-hearted, fun-filled.... and this year.. slightly spooky show courtesy of The Coterie Theatre! If you loved telling stories around the campfire, or huddling under sheets spinning spooky yarns with flashlights at summer camp, you'll love this summer's production, "Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium The Musical."

Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium The Musical showing June 19 - August 5 at The Cotiere.

As longtime fans of Coterie productions, our family looks forward to each new show, but my eight-year-old daughter immediately declared this her all-time favorite Coterie production (and she's seen every age-appropriate Coterie production ever produced in her lifetime). 

This story, from one of the best-selling children's book series of all-time, is true to the genre. If you're not familiar with the Goosebumps series (but we know you are), think Scooby-Doo meets High School Musical meets Saved By The Bell. This musical was overflowing with energy and fun.

The show begins with a bit of audience interaction, where the new leads in their school play, Brooke and Zeke, seek advice from the audience in how to play their roles in the school show. It is great fun to watch the children interact with the cast, and even more fun when their ideas are incorporated into the actual show. The cast also gives the audeince a preview of their special effects and lighting tricks, letting the audience make lighting choices and showing the children that there really is nothing to fear. This is one of those magical touches Coterie likes to bring to each show and one of the reasons the intimate and endearing theater holds such a special place in the hearts of KC kids. They don't just show you the story, they include you in the story - and that is special.

Callie Rodina (as Brooke) in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium- The Musical. Adapted for the stage with book and lyrics by John Maclay. Music, Lyrics, Orchestrations and Arrangements by Danny Abosch. Directed by Jeff Church. Live on stage at The Coterie, June 19 - August 5, 2018. Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

The musical progresses as a spoof of Phantom of the Opera in a Middle School setting.The cartoon is brought to life through vibrant characters. A Middle School drama teacher, played by Sarah LaBarr, decides to produce her great-grandmother's beloved play about a phantom, but rumor has it that the play is cursed. Will the kids discover the true mystery of their Middle School phantom? Callie Rodina plays the female lead, Brooke, with a hysterical performance that showcases her talent as a comedienne and gifted singer. Jacob Valle, is outrageously funny as the class-prankster Zeke who wins the lead in the school play as "The Phantom." Lily Nicholas plays Tina, the understudy who very much wanted the starring role in the school show, David LeVota plays Brian a newcomer to the school and Brooke's new crush, and Evan J. Lovelace plays Emile the school janitor. 

Back to Front: Evan J. Lovelace (as Emile), Lily Nicholas (as Tina), David LeVota (as Brian), Jacob Valle (as Zeke), and Callie Rodina (as Brooke) in R.L. Stine's Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium- The Musical. Adapted for the stage with book and lyrics by John Maclay, and Music, Lyrics, Orchestrations and Arrangements by Danny Abosch. Directed by Jeff Church. Live on stage at The Coterie, June 19 - August 5, 2018. Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

The show offers a variety of outrageous special effects as the students' curiosity takes them deep into the "catacombs" of the school - will they meet the phantom there? 

This rockstar cast does a great job with the fun-filled songs. The music isn't especially memorable, but each piece moves the story along and all of the performers have strong singing voices and great presence. They tell a delightful story full of twists and turns that kept the audience guessing - and that's what a campy, cartoony, slightly-spooky, summer musical is all about.

I took girls ranging in age from 6-10 years old to see the show and they all enjoyed it. This is a great show for elementary age kids. We give this show two thumbs up!

Tickets are $11/youth 18 and under and seniors 60 and older, and $15/adults. Group tickets are available. Purchase tickets to Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium The Musical at http://thecoterie.org.

Also, make plans to see Newsies in July! For the very first time, The Coterie and the White Theatre at The J join forces to create Kansas City’s first locally-produced production of the Broadway smash hit.

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