This weekend, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s 100th season opened with Casper The Friendly Musical. Running now through Oct. 20 at the Taft Theatre, Casper The Friendly Musical kicks off an epic 100th season for TCT.
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s 2019-20 MainStage season kicks off this month with Casper: The Friendly Musical, a story about a friendly and fearless little spirit. The show is a must-see, with high-flying fun, spook-tacular special effects and a catchy soundtrack.
The show is very of the moment, full of pop culture references and accessible humor. In TCT’s world-premiere musical adaptation, Casper and his three uncles live in the family mansion. Fifty years after their lives were cut short in a lightning storm (that resulted in *unlimited* free cable TV!), Magdalena, their former maid, is on a mission to get her hands on the deed to the mansion. Now a famous Reality TV Host, she hosts a (sham) live million-dollar treasure hunt in the mansion.
Casper’s three uncles are absolutely delightful, and my kids all loved watching them sing and dance. Marissa Poole’s Magdalena is a delightful diva whose antics include dressing up as Casper’s deceased parents, reading Ghost Busting for Dummies and calling “Action!” just before her show’s Director can.
Humor and hijinks aside, Casper is excited to finally have kids in the house. He’s lived the last 50 years without a friend, and that’s all he wants. And Donald (whose geeky garb and surname renders him the butt of many a joke), wants the same thing. Casper and Donald are both outcasts in their own ways, and they form a friendship when they realize they are not really that different. At its core, Casper is a musical about not judging a book by its cover. There are also themes about bullying and materialism that give this musical real substance.
In the end, the kids come together, friendships are formed and lessons are learned. And Casper, in an incredibly sweet tear-jerking moment, is reunited with his parents. The greatest treasure of all costs nothing but is worth everything. Four times a year, my family goes downtown to the Taft Theatre for a family experience The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, it’s these family experiences I’ll treasure forever.
Casper will also get your family in the mood for Halloween; in addition to a very seasonally friendly story, theatergoers are encouraged to come in costume. This challenged was enthusiastically accepted by my kids — and Bruce Springsteen, The Princess in Black, Alien and Flamingo were a captive audience during the show.