A TRUE ADVENTURE What do you get when you take woodland creatures, motor vehicles, and a twenty-year prison sentence and put them all together? You get Cole Camp High School’s performance of THE ADVENTURES OF MR. TOAD, where all of these elements and more come together to create a night that was an adventure for all in attendance.
THE ADVENTURES OF MR. TOAD, based on Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows,” is written by Piers Chater-Robinson. It tells the story of Mr. Toad, an extravagant animal who is always looking for a new obsession, when he becomes fond of automobiles.
After causing quite a few accidents, angering the local fauna, and attracting the attention of a few power-hungry weasels, Mr. Toad learns that, sometimes, new isn’t always necessarily good. Jordan Kollbaum as the car-crazed Mr. Toad keeps the audience laughing with his energetic stage presence, and gives a lively energy to the show. Seeming to be the true picture of whimsy and enthusiasm, he manages to put a comical spin on any scene he enters.
Dana Oelrichs’s stubborn spirit as Badger is also prominent, and the energy between the two keeps the show going smoothly. Amollie Stoermer as Mole adds a bit of lighthearted humor to the stage. Her character is charming and believable, and when she banters with Emily Kollbaum as Rat, a laugh is sure to follow. Sean Murphy as the Chief Weasel shows a different side of the woodland creatures with his sly, secretive demeanor.
Kay Wilken brings true hope to her role as Rosy, the jailer’s daughter, as she shows Mr. Toad that there will always be things to smile about. When she plays the Magistrate, however, her voice holds an entirely different quality—spunk! Giving the tough-willed judge the sass she deserves, Wilken proudly belts out her sentence in “Goodbye Toad.” Darin Oelrichs as the Policemen also has some comic moments as he testifies against Toad.
Makeup, done by Jordan Burgin, is simple but effective, and clearly demonstrates the nature of varying characters. Despite a few technical errors in sound and props, the cast and crew move forward admirably. They take these in stride, and perform with perseverance and dedication that is rightly noticeable.
Overall, Cole Camp High School’s performance of THE ADVENTURES OF MR. TOAD is a true adventure itself, and one the audience is sure to never forget.