Junie B.’s Jingle Bells Rings Funny at NCT, Nov. 1 – Dec. 18

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Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (Ages 4 and older)
Nashville Children’s Theatre
25 Middleton St., Nashville
252-4675 • nashvillechildrenstheatre.org
Show times: Sat – Sun 2 p.m.
Tickets: $19 adults, $12 children

Regardless of whether Robin really laid an egg or the Batmobile lost a wheel, one thing is certain: the current Nashville Children’s Theatre (NCT) production of Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! is a sure-fire holiday hit for young audiences ages 4 and older. And since we’re fully thrust into the season of holiday treats, you’ll want to make sure your little ones make the trip to NCT this month.

Local stage veteran Peter Vann — well known on both NCT and Tennessee Rep stages — makes his directorial debut in Nashville with this show and succeeds on all counts. It’s obvious he is a child at heart and really knows how to direct an adult cast playing first graders with all of the nuances that exist with typical 6-year-olds.

Brooke Bryant masterfully portrays the title character so beloved by many a grade-school kid. Junie B. is in fact a precocious little girl, and Bryant makes every bit of that persona billow from the stage. She delivers a lot of funny moments throughout the show, as does her character’s arch nemesis, May, played by Cori Laemmel.

Laemmel gives a top-notch delivery to her bratty character in a way reminiscent of Alison Arngrim’s classic portrayal of Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie fame. The remaining cast, which includes Bobby Wyckoff, Jeff Boyett, Henry Haggard, Rona Carter and Patrick Waller deftly portray their respective characters, most of them playing multiple roles, all of them giving their pint-sized audience lots of laughs and giggles.

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! will surely delight you and yours this holiday season.

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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