Monday, December 9, 2013


What place is always winter but never Christmas?

For readers of C.S. Lewis, "The Chronicles of Narnia" the answer is obvious, the mythical land of "Narnia" which is currently onstage at The Rose Theater. Narnia is a musical adaptation of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". This musical is very loyal to the book, does involve fighting, violence, loyalty, betrayal, death, sacrifice, and ultimately grace and forgiveness. "Narnia" has a phenomenal cast.

In the 1940s as London prepared for the upcoming war, many families chose to keep their children safe from the bombing by sending them to the country. The four Pevensie children are sent to a distant relative's large estate in the country. Their uncle is not accustomed to children, neither is his staff. Out of boredom, the youngest children enter an old wardrobe, completely filled with clothing hung up, and discover a world unknown to the adults.

The four children were outstanding. As Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie wonderfully portrayed by Kevin Mikuls, Laura Davis, Max Hauze, and Emma Dougherty were the ideal British children complete with British accents exploring the house. All perfectly embrace their parts complete with styles and hair directly from the 1940s. However, Laura Davis unquestionably sings beautifully with a voice that would rival any trained adult singer.

Wai Yim was a superb Tumus. As a faun, he balanced the demand of being both a mythical character with artistry. Walter Shatley was outstanding in his multiple roles as the uncle, Father Christmas, and Aslan. Kirstin Kluver doubled as both the Queen of Narnia and the head housekeeper. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Patrick Wolfe and Nicklaus Knipe, were humorous while providing comfort and guidance for the children.

The rest of the cast and crew were outstanding in this show. With the clothing representing the 1940s, the costumes, makeup, and hair design, every element was outstanding. The difficulty of recognition of a mythical or real creature while remaining human was mastered. With the sets, props, scenic design, lighting, and sound, all were artistic and beautifully reflective while unfolding the story.

The music literally encircled the story with musical director, Jerry Brabec, former Council Bluffs teacher and musician, leading on the keyboard with John Bennett playing the piano. For me, the outstanding acapella song, "Lay Him in a Field of Flowers" was gorgeous. The harmonies and blending of the children and adult voices was almost hypnotic.

Also, the heartfelt conversation between Aslan and Edmund discussing healing from the inside out rang of the wisdom and the message of loyalty and the love of this legendary tale.

The recommend ages for “Narnia” are 6 to 13 and for those who have read the books. They will thoroughly enjoy this show. For the younger ones, the show could be long and scary if they are not acquainted with the series. The show lasts over two hours with an additional intermission.
"Narnia" is continuing at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street in Omaha through December 29th with shows at 7 p.m. every Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. On December 21st, this performance will be interpreted for those hearing impaired and an additional performance at 7 p.m. on December 26th. Tickets can be purchased at discounted prices for main floor seats at all area Hy-Vee stores for $ 20. Also, tickets can be purchased at prices from $20 to $25 by calling the Box Office at (402) 345-4849 or online at

“Narnia” was written to reassure the British children of the good in the world during bad times. This legendary tale continues be a message for all today.

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