Gateway produces show everyone will love

By Katie Alicea-Tilton
Citizen Chronicle Theatre Critic
📸 Gateway Players Theatre courtesy photo

SOUTHBRIDGE — What happens when the fantasy world of monsters and reality collide? You end up with a night full of fun and laughter.  Gateway Players Theatre brought in a full house for their opening night of the Musical “There’s a Monster in My Closet,” by Angela D. Stewart with music & lyrics by Bill Francoeur; currently playing at Fellowship Hall at the Elm Street Congregational Church, 61 Elm Street.

Prepare to feel like a kid again while you sing and dance along to this fun-filled production.

Immediately the audience was whisked away into dreamland by the Sandman (Luis “Tito” Aviles) with a song about believing, sang so beautifully it brought tears to my eyes.  He along with his two adorable dream weavers, Robin (Gracie Turpin) and Jamie (Stephanie Krysinski) work together to help the children magically dream as they sleep. We are then brought to young Emily’s (Abigail Simpson) room where she is having a sleepover with her bestie Stephanie (Anjolina Fantaroni).  What was planned to be just be a typical night takes a drastic turn when the overly curious and absolutely hilarious Closet Monster Murray (Kionna Hazzard) decided to sneak out to play Emily’s video games. Having been seen by the girls, Murray and his silly buddy Wanda (Erin Simpson) must now face consequences set by the Dream Queen (Lynn Boucher) and her loyal sidekick Toady (Sue Adams).

After begging and pleading with her mom (Bree Beauregard,) Emily get the thumbs up for another sleepover where the girls decide to devise a plan to catch the Closet Monster with all their friends, Brain (Brianna Baumgardner), Megan (Summer Saine), Tara (Jillian Cloutier), Kelly (Dayzyah Wintzel Neely) & Mary (Bella Coleman).  Meanwhile Emily’s big brother Tom (Tea Hardy) and his buddies Nathan (Merrik Cowden) Shelby (LeStat Senn) & Chris (Caleigh Hendrick) are around to give the girls a hard time. The musical mashups throughout the production were spot on, they were both catchy and to put simply pretty darn funny. The room roared with laughter as the nights activities played out.

Director Lou-Ellen Corkum and producer Kathi Grenier, along with music director Kayla Farnham and choreographer Emma Provost, did a phenomenal job working together to put together this production.  With such a young cast and only about 8 weeks of preparation they really pulled out all the stops to make sure everyone in the audience enjoyed themselves.

With the cold weather rolling in this weekend it’s a great time to partake in some indoor activities so why not catch one of the two remaining shows, Saturday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, October 6 at 2 p.m. at the Fellowship Hall at the Elm Street Congregational Church.

Bring the whole family with you it’s a great show that everyone will love, that I can promise you.

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