As a former West Middle School Musical alum, I thought that this year’s WMS production of James and the Giant Peach was an absolute delight. Based on one of Roald Dahl’s most poignantly quirky stories, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach JR. is a brand new take on this “masterpeach” of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic. When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.
Sixth grader Andrew Klepser stole the crowd’s heart as James with his sweet soprano voice and blossoming acting potential. Leads, Mackenzie McDaniel and Janelle Little as James’s two aunts (Aunt Sponge and Spiker) inspired a room full of laughter. The duo owned the stage with their vibrant personalities in numbers such as “Property of Spiker and Sponge” and “Our Adventure Begins.” Though the vocal strength delivered by the cast was not strong at all times, the intricate costumes and simplistic stage design made up for where talent was lacking. All in all, West Middle School’s new director, Tyler Baas, did an excellent job working with what he had talent wise and produced a fun loving one hour and fifteen minute musical.