\"The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley\" at Dallas Children\'s Theater

Review: The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley | Dallas Childrens Theater | Rosewood Center for Family Arts

Going Postal

Dallas Children's Theater goes on some delectable Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.

published Monday, May 20, 2013

The adjective "flat" isn't typically a positive; it's certainly not desired by singers, sodas or tires. On the other hand, it works out for stomachs and pancakes. It's not something welcomed by the title character of Jeff Brown's "Flat" Stanley Lambchop books, either, but as a cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for, it's not so bad being flat.

In The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, now at Dallas Children's Theater, being flat also makes for some memorable tunes and serves as a love letter to the postal service and sending mail in the days before the letters "e" and "i" became prefixes for everyday words like "mail" and "phone."

The late author Brown's first Flat Stanley book was published in 1964, and it became so popular that it spun numerous sequels and garnered a loyal fanbase. There's even a Flat Stanley app (several of them, actually). This musical, which has a book by Timothy Allen McDonald, lyrics by McDonald and Jonathan K. Waller, and music by McDonald, Waller, David Weinstein and Stephen Gabriel, debuted in 2008.

At DCT, Clinton Greenspan plays Stanley, who lives with his brother Arthur (Andy Baldwin) and parents Mr. and Mrs. Lambchop (B.J. Cleveland and Natalie Weaver). Stanley wants to do big things, and when Arthur urges him to wish on a falling star, his dream to see the world is realized as he's turned into a two-dimensional boy. How this happens is a coup de théâtre for scenic designer Bob Lavallee and costume designer Lyle Hutchon.

What happens to him is plainly laid out in the song "My Child is Flat." But, in the spirit of making the most of undesirable situation, and with the encouragement of the cleverly named postal carrier Mrs. Cartero (Deborah Brown), they decide to put Stanley in a giant envelope and mail him around the world. He visits Hollywood, Hawaii and Paris, which is memorably executed with a foiled heist at the Louvre. Turns out, some famous paintings might be flat, but they're not empty-headed.

Directed by Michael Serrecchia and with music direction by Adam C. Wright, it's all great fun, expertly performed, vocally and acting-wise. Cleveland, Weaver, Baldwin and Brown get to have extra, hammy good times in multiple roles.

There's not as much subversive humor here for the adults as in some of the other musicals that DCT has produced, but for solid family entertainment, especially for younger children, you could say it's letter perfect.


◊ Here's video of Michael Serrecchia talking about his career and working on this show. Flat Stanley marks his DCT debut.


  Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
Going Postal
Dallas Children's Theater goes on some delectable Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.
by Mark Lowry

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :