The well told children’s story of Mr. Toad’s wild ride will be moving from the page to the stage when the Modesto Junior College Theatre Department performs “The Wind in the Willows.”
“The Wind in the Willows” is Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale of the adventures of Mr. Toad of Toad Hall and his pals, Mr. Rat, Mr. Mole and Mrs. MacBadger. The charming story is set in the woods of Northern England at the turn of the 20th century, when motorcars were rare and things of wonder. They are objects that mesmerize the protagonist, Mr. Toad of Toad Hall. Grahame’s funny and sometimes serious tale is populated with a variety of characters — some human and some creatures of the forest — with an evil villain by the name of Jack Weasel.
The novel has been adapted for the stage and is being directed by MJC Theatre Professor Michael Lynch, a playwright himself.
“I’ve done a few Shakespearean tragedies over the past few years and thought it was time to do something fun,” Lynch said. “It was always one of my favorite books as a kid and the material transitions over really well. I’ve added a few characters and it seems to be working well.”
The show is rated G, but Lynch says he has included some jokes that will appeal to adults and keeps all ages entertained.
The MJC cast features Phil Azevedo as Mr. Toad; Ryan Welch as Mr. Mole; Travis Blansit as Mr. Rat; Robin Bjerke as Mrs. MacBadger; Elda Coleman as Judge Hangworthy; Desiree Juanes as Rebecca; Barbara Blazzard as Aunt Vera; Kenny Shipman as Jack Weasel; Taylor Tucker as Jennie Weasel; Grant Farris as O’Reilly the engineer; Jon Sahlman as Chuck; Justino Garza as Jeb the Jailer; Chris Wells as the Cop, and Casee Glover, Peter Lozano, Arizona Olave, Ashley Dahlin and Dylan Bargas as the Weasel Mob. The set production’s designer is Ty Helton and Anne Shanto will manage costumes and make-up.
The shows are set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, 5, 6 and 7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8. All shows are in the Little Theatre on the East Campus, at 435 College Avenue in Modesto.
Tickets for all performances are $8 for students and seniors and $10 general admission. Tickets may be purchased at the Auditorium Box Office, noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or by calling the Box Office at 575-6776 during these hours. Tickets may also be purchased online at http://mjc.tix.com