A magical world awaits at the back of the closet

Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2003

C S. Lewis and his magical world of all-knowing lions and polite British schoolchildren will return to the stage at Chapel by the Lake, as the youth of the congregation present "Narnia," a musical version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, in the chapel sanctuary. Admission is free.

What: A musical version of C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Who: Chapel by the Lake congregation.

When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30.

Where: Chapel by the Lake sanctuary.

Admission: Free.

Producing director Sylvia Gard directed an adaptation of the play several years ago at the chapel and decided to bring it back this year to coincide with Advent. The church has an annual Advent event.

"It's a fairly complicated play for children this age, but it's an excellent musical, it has good songs and it has a strong moral lesson," Gard said.

"Narnia" centers around four English children - Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan - who stumble upon Narnia through a space-traveling wardrobe in their aunt's mansion. The evil White Witch rules Narnia and loves snow. Thus, it is always winter and never Christmas. The children meet two beavers, a magical faun, a paramilitary wolf, the Christmas fairy, two mean cruelies and Aslan, the righteous king lion of Narnia.

Gard cast every child that showed up to auditions, as well as some of their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver (Elaine Hoopstra and Tessa Beedle) are mother and daughter. The actress who plays the White Witch (Jane Spicciani) is the mother of the actors who play Edmund (Jianni Spicciani) and the Christmas fairy (Justine Spicciani).

"I just opened it up to everybody," Gard said. "Some of these kids have no experience; in fact, I think that's the rule rather than the exception."


Edmund - Jianni Spicciani; Lucy - Sarah Thrower; Peter - Anne Gissel; Susan - Linda Joy Olmstead; The White Witch - Jane Spicciani; Mr. Beaver - Elaine Hoopstra; Mrs. Beaver - Tessa Beedle; Mr. Taumnus - Jacob Olmstead; Housekeeper, Mean cruelie, Christmas fairy - Justine Spicciani; Aunt Agnes, professor, wolf - Shauna Majeran; Mean cruelie - Marcy Haffner; Spirit of the lamppost - Charlotte Heard; Aslan - Dale Bucich; Production director - Sylvia Gard; Music and dance director - Gillian Hays; Pianist - Benita Nelson.

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